Dorothy Hamill: An Inspiration On And Off The Ice Essay

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Dorothy Hamill: An Inspiration On and Off the Ice Who could have ever imagined that a little girl who got her first pair of figure skates for $5.99 would turn out to be an Olympic champion? Since her gold medal performance in the 1976 Winter Games, Dorothy Hamill has been one of the most recognizable and influential figure skaters in history. From her dedication to the sport, to her work with the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and also her fundraising for breast cancer research, Hamill has become the perfect example of what a figure skater can accomplish. I think that she is a strong role model for people involved in the sport and she has affected figure skating in a very positive way. She has also been an influence on me in my own skating, and has inspired me to work hard. Hamill started to skate at the age of eight in her grandparent’s backyard pond. In her autobiography, Dorothy Hamill: On and Off the Ice, Hamill remembered her first moment on the ice: "I sat on the bank of the pond trying to lace the boots with impatient, frozen fingers. At last I struggled upright, wobbling precariously. I took a cautious step forward and, as I felt the ice under my blades, something inside me surged." In the fall of 1965, at nine years old Hamill participated in her first competition, the Wollman Open. She took second place. By now, Hamill's parents could see their daughters talent and allowed her to spend the next summer training at Lake Placid, New York, a former Olympic venue and training center for many ice skaters. Hamill trained with Czechoslovakian coach Otto Gold. Gold was a strict disciplinarian, this change in coaching style was good for Hamill, and she made a lot of progress. However, in a competition at Lake Placid, she finished eighth. Hamill was disappointed, but coach Gold encouraged her. He assured her parents that she was a very good technical

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