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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

DON JACKSON

Inducted in 1962

Member Details

Date of Birth: April 2, 1940
Place of Birth: Oshawa, Ontario
Sport: Figure skating
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1955

Canadian Junior Men's Champion

1959

Canadian Senior Men's Champion

North American Champion

World Championships - Silver medal

1960

Squaw Valley Olympic Games - bronze medal

World Championships - Silver medal

1962

World Championships - Gold medal

Lou Marsh Trophy

1965

Men's World Professional Invitational Champion

1970

World Professional Champion

Honoured Member DON JACKSON
Inspire

Story

Don Jackson, the "jack rabbit" of figure skating, could out-jump any figure skater in the world. He was the first skater to successfully execute a triple Lutz in competition, and the first Canadian to claim the men's world championship title, in 1962. By the age of 12, Jackson knew that he wanted to be a figure skating champion. He trained intensively in his hometown of Oshawa before being taken under the wing of coach Otto Gold at the Minto Skating Club in Ottawa. In 1955, at the age of 14, he claimed his first significant title, the Canadian junior men's championship. Jackson spent the next three winters training in New York with coach Pierre Brunet and U.S. Women's Champion Carol Heiss. During this time, the young skater steadily began to climb the world championship ranks, placing seventh in 1957, and fourth in 1958. In 1959, he captured the Canadian senior men's title and the North American championship, and he won a silver medal at the world championship in Colorado. In 1960, Jackson claimed a bronze medal at the Olympic Games and place second at the world championships once more. He was so close to the top-all he needed was one final push to reach the title spot. That push came from renowned coach Sheldon Galbraith of the Toronto Cricket, Skating, and Curling Club. Galbraith already had a reputation for developing champions such as Barbara Ann Scott, and pairs titlists Norris Bowden and Francis Dafoe, but Jackson soon proved to be among his greatest protégés. After a year with Galbraith, Jackson arrived at the 1962 World Championships in Prague with his sights set on the gold medal. After the compulsory figures event, Jackson found himself trailing behind Czech champion Karol Divin by 45 points, but his confidence did not waver. Jackson later told the press: "I asked Mr. Galbraith if there was any way for me to win and he said, 'There's room at the top,' so I went out and skated." Jackson didn't just skate-he gave the performance of his life, a performance that is still remembered as one of the most brilliant displays the competitive rink has ever seen. Jackson began his program with the first triple Lutz to be successfully executed in competition. He followed by executing numerous flawless jumps, including a triple salchow and three double axels, one with his arms folded across his chest. His acrobatics brought the house down, while his technical proficiency left the judges in awe. With a record seven perfect scores, Jackson rightly claimed his crown. Like many amateur skaters of his day, Jackson turned professional soon after his tremendous victory. He toured with the Ice Follies from 1962-68 and later served as executive director at the Minto Skating Club. He continued to compete professionally, claiming the Men's World Professional Invitational Championship in 1965 and the World Professional Championships in 1970. For his superb accomplishments, Jackson received the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's Athlete of the Year in 1962, received an honoured place in the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1977, and was named to the Order of Canada in 1998.


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