By David Gold

Barbara Scott_Olympic_figure_skaterOctober 1 - Barbara Ann Scott, the only Canadian women to win a figure skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics, has died at the age of 84.

She passed away at her home in Amelia Island, where she lived with husband Tom.

A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Her Olympic triumph at St Moritz 1948 was all the more impressive as it came on poor ice, damaged by ice hockey and sunlight, and made her a national hero.

Scott was not just an Olympic champion, but also claimed North American and world honours too.

She also won the European title twice before the rules were changed to allow only athletes from that continent to enter and she has an ice hockey arena in her native Ottawa named after her.

"Barbara Ann set the standard for generations of female athletes and women skaters who came after her," said Skate Canada President Benoît Lavoie in a statement.

Barbara Scott_Olympic_figure_skater_in_St_Moritz_1948Photographers watch the Canadian figure skater, Barbara Ann Scott, during the 1948 Winter Olympics in St Moritz, Switzerland

"The discipline and focus that she learned early in her career were the foundation of her success, as Canadian, North American, European, World and Olympic Champion.

"She remained so connected to the sport, and to Canada after her own career was over.

"Every time she attended our events, she inspired our skaters and encouraged them to pursue their dreams.

"We extend our sincere sympathy to her husband Tom, her family, and her friends.

"She will be sadly missed by the international skating community and by her many fans worldwide."

Scott's victory at the Winter Games led to the creation of a doll in her image which is a prized possession for collectors.

She was made the honorary chair of the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships in Calgary, Canada.

Scott was an iconic figure and won the Lou Marsh Trophy for Canada's top athlete in 1945, 1947 and 1948.

She was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1991.

When Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Scott carried the Olympic Torch into the House of Commons, having also carried it on the way to the Calgary Games in 1988.

Barbara Ann_ScottBarbara Ann Scott became a household name thanks to her global success

Following the end of her career, she participated in ice shows, raising money for crippled children in the process.

"The Canadian Olympic Committee joins the rest of Canada in mourning the death of Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott," said Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut.

"Ms Scott's grace and humility put her in a class of her own.

"Her accomplishments will never be forgotten as she has paved the way for generations of figure skaters.

"Barbara Ann Scott is the only Canadian to win a historic gold medal at women's figure skating at the Olympic Games.

"This is a tremendous loss to the sporting community and indeed to the entire country.

"We send our deepest condolences to her husband Tom, her family, friends and loved ones.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they mourn their loss."

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