Olympic Skating Champion
Every four years the Olympic Games produce a new group of champions, but only rarely does one of these champions transcend their sport to completely capture our imaginations.
Such was the case when nineteen-year old figure skater Dorothy Hamill won her gold medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Her interpretation of music, fluid skating and infectious charm led all nine judges to unanimously vote her the winner.
Hamill is most proud of her World Championship title in Sweden following her win at the 1976 Olympic Games in Innsbruck. Everyone had advised her to retire from amateur competition, saying that even a second place would tarnish the luster of her Olympic gold. Characteristically, once she set her mind to it, she would not be dissuaded, and won.
As a professional, Hamill has skated with many productions, including eight years with the company she helped bring to preeminence among touring ice shows, the Ice Capades. She had an unprecedented four ABC television primetime specials produced in her honor. Along with winning five consecutive World Professional titles, Hamill has produced and starred in her own touring productions of Cinderella – Frozen In Time, Hansel, Gretel, the Witch and the Cat”and Nutcracker On Ice, and won an Emmy for her starring role in Romeo and Juliet. Hamill was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame and was very proud to run the torch into the Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City with her friend Dick Button as well as skate the closing ceremonies with vocalist Harry Connick, Jr. In addition to her skating roles, Hamill was the first recipient of the Stars of Madison Avenue Award for her continued appearances in successful advertising campaigns.
In her book, A Skating Life, she reveals her lifelong struggle with depression that sometimes left her contemplating suicide. She shares how she now successfully manages her depression through exercise, medication, therapy, and the support of family and friends.
Hamill’s charity work includes the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the International Special Olympics, Big Brothers & Sisters of America, Buoniconti Fund, Olympic Aid, Vaccine Fund, American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, several HIV/AIDS foundations, and teaching blind children to skate through the March of Dimes. In April 2010 she hosted Ice Dreams, an event showcasing young medal-winning skaters performing alongside Olympic talents, to benefit the American Heart Association.
A motivational speaker, Hamill has addressed several organizations, corporations, women’s groups, and was a featured speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. She was a judge on Fox’s Skating with Celebrities and continues to tour with Champions on Ice and Broadway on Ice throughout the country.
A Skating Life
With her distinctive bobbed hairdo and dazzling smile, Hamill leaped into America’s heart as a 19-year old when she took the Olympic figure-skating gold medal in 1976. In this keynote presentation, based on her book A Skating Life, she reveals her lifelong struggle with a depression that sometimes left her contemplating suicide. She shares how she now successfully manages her depression with a compendium of exercise, medication, therapy, and the support of her family and friends.
An Evening with Dorothy Hamill
A Champion Wins Over Depression