This one gets a personal note. As well as being Canadian Olympian and Gold medal winner, Barbara Ann, and yes, she said I could call her that, went on to many things. One of them was to open, with her husband, Mr. Tom King, the International Academy of Merchandising and Design. First in Chicago and later in Toronto,(where I worked for many years, as an instructor and Fashion Design Chair), Montreal and Tampa. She would appear in Toronto, every year, in the time they owned it, for the graduation ceremony. She remembered every one of us by name, and always had something short and pleasant and personal to say to us. The yearly question, among the staff, before her arrival, was, “what would colour would her outfit be this time?” She was impeccably groomed, her naturally white hair perfectly in place, her petite figure without any extra, and a perfect suit, blouse, fur collar and shoes, all dyed to match! This ensemble was all peaked by a shimmering, quite large but somehow not-ostentatious quivering, (yes they actually moved about on the tiniest of springs) multi-diamond, floral pin . Each year was a slight variation on the garments, obviously one-of-a-kind and cut just-for-her, and, colour, always pastel, always different, so right with her hair and skin-tone! This is with only one exception, the last time I remember seeing her, she announced from the podium, that she was “not dressed as per her norm”. No, this year she had spotted a “fun” denim jacket and pant, perfectly cut, perfectly pressed, with a full on, full-scale, rhinestone Mickey Mouse, gracing the back of the jacket, which she turned to show us, as she gleefully said “I found it at the airport, in Toronto, on my way in today, and it was designed by one of our Toronto graduates!” (Naomi Shapiro). She was grace personified, every movement appeared so smooth and effortless, her very real smile, and rosy cheeks still bright from girlhood. She remains quite a memory of my time at “The Academy”
The following is a very brief bio, she was a very accomplished person! Barbara Ann Scott OC OOnt (May 9, 1928 – September 30, 2012) was a Canadian figure skater. She was the 1948 Olympic champion, a two-time World champion (1947–1948), and a four-time Canadian national champion (1944–46, 48) in ladies’ singles. Known as “Canada’s Sweetheart”, she is the only Canadian to have won the Olympic ladies’ singles gold medal, the first North American to have won three major titles in one year and the only Canadian to have won the European Championship (1947–48). During her forties she was rated among the top equestrians in North America. She received many honours and accolades, including being made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1991 and a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008.