Seven Marks of 6.0 from judges
lifted Jackson to World Crown

Donald Jackson had skated the skate of all skates and he was standing around in a backroom in Prague, Czechoslovakia waiting for the results when a close competitor and native Czech, Karol Divin, came up to him and said, “That’s the best skating I've ever seen. If I win the gold medal I’ll give it to you.”
And Divin’s mother said this in broken English to Jackson’s mother, “That was fantastic skating. If my son loses, it I will still be proud of him to have lost to your son.” As it turns out, Jackson captured the gold medal 40 years ago this month to win the world men’s figure skating championship. Jackson, then 21, was awarded seven perfect marks of 6.0 by the judges and landed a triple lutz, which is almost unheard of in figure skating, a procedure where by you must land on one foot for it to be successful.

“I knew I would land the jump, ”Jackson said. “I had done the triple lutz four times before—three times the previous summer during training in Schumacher, Ont., and onetime the previous Christmas during training at the Toronto Cricket and Curling Club.” So there was no way Jackson was going to throw out the triple lutz from the program just because he was skating in a real competition. “You have to land completely clean on one foot,” Jackson reiterated. “Landing on two feet is a no-no. The judges take marks off, if you land on two feet.”
There were 18,500 people at that event. And 250,000 more were looking for tickets. It was the Cold War era and people didn’t have much else to see. “Believe it or not, I wasn't shocked that I won. The seven perfect marks are the most ever given out to a single skater, man or woman, at the international level. I knew I had skated great and when I found out I won, it was icing on the cake.”

Upon his return to his native Oshawa, Jackson was welcomed back with a 1962 Chev Impala convertible by the city. “In those days, all you could accept for a gift as an amateur was $50,” Jackson recalled. So initially he had to decline the offer of the car until he made the decision to turn pro. He kept the car and went on to skate for the Ice Follies for a number of years.

For the last 17 years, he has been executive director of skating for Ottawa’s prestigious Minto Skating Club and he keeps in tip-top shape by doing short exhibition solos during the Oldtimers’ Hockey Challenge tour which takes him and former NHL players to most towns and cities across the country. “I do close to four minutes before the start of the third period in all the Oldtimers’ games,” Jackson said. “It’s an entertainment package for the fans. That way, I can keep my skating up.”
Jackson was seven when he told his mother that he wanted to try and learn figure skating after he won a costume competition at a school carnival. His mother agreed, saying that she wanted him to so he wouldn’t be roaming the streets at night. Jackson won the 1955 Canadian junior Championship and went on to win four Canadian Senior titles, a North American title, and a bronze medal at the 1960 Olympics before taking The gold in Prague. At one time Jackson and his brother Bill, of Oshawa, marketed skate boots and made a decent buck out of that before selling out. Jackson’s elaborate and informative website* is named after those same boots. If you want to know anything about Jackson, just check out that website. You can also read the “Donald Jackson: King of the Blades “written by George Gross.

Now, about that selection to the Ontario Sport Legends Hall of Fame, Donald. “It’s wonderful,” he said. “What an honour. It’s really nice to be honoured along with Red Kelly and Red Storey.

by Danny Gallagher
The Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame




Home Products Photo gallery Search by subject site map