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Thread: Dorothy Hamill

  1. #1
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    Dorothy Hamill

    I know almost nothing about Dorothy Hamill. All I do know is that she won the 76 Olympics, is American, had a fashionable haircut, and did the hamill camel (some variation of the camel-sit combo?). Can anyone tell me anything else about her? I'm just interested because she seems quite an iconic figure among American skating fans and I don't know anything about her (never seen her skate, can't even remember what she looks like). She was also mentioned by one poster in the poll thread for the skaters with greatest contribution to the sport, in the voting forum. Why would she be considered this?

    Just wondering, building my knowledge

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Icenut, I hope that someone will answer who is more knowledgeable than I. But for various reasons Dorothy Hamill became something of an American cultural icon in the 1970s. To this day she is one of the few figure skaters in the U.S. whose name is known to non-skating fans. If fact, in two recent polls of America's greatest entertainment, sports and cultural icons, she was the only skater who made the list. (As I recall she was something like #139 on a list where Oprah Winfrey was #1 and Mickey Mouse was #2.)

    She was successfully hyped as "America's sweetheart" after her Olympic victory. And don't downplay the haircut thing. Like millions of teenyboppers rushing out to get low-slung jeans to look like Britney Spears, Dorothy's cut was greatly in fashion for a while.

    She also made news by buying the Ice Capades and, with her former husband, running these shows for a number of years. Unfortunately the Ice Capades went broke and Dorothy lost both her money and her husband.

    As a skater, to this day she is without peer (this is my opinion) in terms of the smoothness of her stroking, basic edging skills, beauty of posture and carriage, and the ability to transport the audience to a happier place. Now in her forties, she still has the power to cast a spell of enchantment over anyone who has the great good fortune to see her skate. Any current figure skater would greatly profit from studying Dorothy's exquisite lines and her perfect mastery of the ice surface.

    Mathman

  3. #3
    Moving Forward
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    Mathman,

    Do you know if Yuka has ever mentioned whether Dorothy was one of her influences? I see much the same posture, carriage and line in Yuka as I do in Dorothy's skating.

    Nan

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, me too! I never thought of that comparison exactly, but Yuka and Dorothy do have the same body type and magificent carriage. No, I don't know whether Yuka ever spoke of Dorothy in that way or not.

    Mathman

    PS. I forgot to mention: Dorothy's spins are the textbook for centering.

  5. #5
    Rinkside
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    Dorothy

    I think people have covered why Dorothy is an icon in skating. Even though at times Dick Button goes a little overboard, when he sees Dorothy skate, he tells people this is why he loves skating to watch Dorothy skate. Sometimes skaters don't necessarily have to do triple jumps, etc. to be wonderful skaters and I think Dorothy exemplifies this

    Evie

  6. #6
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Dorothy Hamill

    I think Dorothy became an "icon" of American Figure Skating because she had the "whole package" which included figures at that time.

    When Dorothy skates her carriage is perfect. She glides effortlesly across the ice - Yuka Sato also has this ability. Dorothy also made the camel spin extra special, by inventing the "Hamill" Camel. When a skater brings something special to their skating as did Dorothy, everyone notices. Dorothy also had "the girl next door" image.

    This quote sums up best what I mean:

    When You are Dorothy Hamill--Who Needs Triple Jumps?

    Dorothy Hamill is the epitome of beautiful, graceful and technically excellent skating. She has speed, perfect posture, elegant carriage, deep, secure edges, gorgeous Ina Bauers, perfect landing positions on lovely double jumps, light and lovely spirals, the best spins in the world, including her layback to die for, incredibly fast scratch spin, straight backed sit spins, famous "Hamill Camel" and of course--her beautiful bright smile that lights up the entire arena. How can you not love Dorothy Hamill????
    I think all female skaters today could do with studying skaters like Dorothy Hamill to improve their posture and their edges and basic stroking.


  7. #7
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    Thanks (those who gave me info on Dorothy's skating/career)

  8. #8
    Custom Title IDLERACER's Avatar
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    A few other well known female personalities of the late 70s that, as a result of Dorothy Hammill, decided to also sport what would've been referred to in the 60s as Beatle haircuts:

    Didi Conn
    Cindy Williams
    Toni Tenille
    Ann Jillian
    and briefly, even Carol Burnette.

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