Olympic gold medalist Dorothy Hamill is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Hamill said in a statement Friday that she is being treated at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. The prognosis is favorable, but the 51-year-old Hamill said she will miss some of the “Broadway on Ice” tour while she is having treatment.
Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano, one of Hamill’s good friends, will fill in for her, beginning Saturday night in Sarasota, Fla. Hamill said she hopes to rejoin the tour in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it has shows Jan. 16-17.
Then 19, Hamill became America’s sweetheart and a fashion icon when she won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics. Her bright smile and bubbly personality made her a marketing dream - she was once listed as the “Most Trusted Sports Figure in America” by Ladies Home Journal - and her trademark wedge haircut sent girls across the country flocking to the hairdresser.
Hamill is one of seven U.S. women to win the Olympic gold medal. She also was a three-time U.S. champion and won the world title in 1976, and she has been inducted into both the U.S. and World Figure Skating halls of fame.
Hamill turned professional after winning the 1976 world championships. She joined the Ice Capades in 1977, and headlined that tour for eight years.
Hamill isn’t the first Olympic champion to have cancer. Peggy Fleming, the 1968 Olympic gold medalist, also had breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 1998, but is now cancer free and is an advocate for research and awareness. Scott Hamilton, the 1984 men’s champion, was treated for testicular cancer in 1997.