Cancer Type – Breast

Bio – She won gold at 19 years old floating across the ice, but America’s ice skating sweetheart struggled with depression during her battle with breast cancer.

Short Story – She was 12 years old when she received her first national career success, winning the novice ladies’ title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She captured the hearts of the world early, and many women were inspired to have a Dorothy Hamill hair style. She made her hometown of Greenwich Connecticut proud when she took the gold medal in the 1976 Winter Olympics. Hamill was 19.

Hamill was diagnosed with a hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. And, now is a paid spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based company bioTheranostics Inc, which makes one of the tests, and part of an educational campaign, BeWisER+ About Breast Cancer, which is designed to encourage others to get it.

The figure skater was diagnosed in 2007 with breast cancer. She had been touring “Broadway on Ice” and was forced to cancel several dates in January 2008, announcing to the world her diagnosis, “As an athlete, the physical side effects are tough. I get frustrated at not being able to do what I want to do on the ice.”

Hamill underwent surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In addition, she took the estrogen antagonist drug tamoxifen for six years, struggling with the side effects, such as achiness. In 2016 she told “USA Today” her energy was back, other symptoms had abated, and she was even lacing up her skates again.

The struggle with the disease also helped to induce depression in the star, which she revealed in her book, A Skating Life: My Story.

If there is one thing Dorothy Hamill knows well, it is perseverance. “The one thing I’ve learned in figure skating is when you fall down, you get up, and you continue on. You can’t worry about what has happened. You have to move forward,” she says. “As bad as it seems, if you look at the rest of the world, it can always be worse. I try to keep it in perspective.” – (Source Coping with Cancer)

Thank you Dorothy for being a spokeswoman, encouraging genetic testing, and sharing the ups and downs of your very personal struggle.

Image Credits – By White House photo by Shealah Craighead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Personal information
Country representedUnited States
BornDorothy Stuart Hamill, July 26, 1956 (age 60), Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Former coachOtto Gold, Gustave Lussi, Sonya Dunfield, Carlo Fassi, Peter Burroughs
Medal record
Representing the United States
Figure skating: Ladies’ singles
Winter Olympics
Gold Medal – First Place, 1976 InnsbruckLadies’ singles
World Championships
Gold Medal – First Place, 1976 GothenburgLadies’ singles
Silver Medal – Second Place, 1974 MunichLadies’ singles
Silver Medal – Second Place, 1975 Colorado SpringsLadies’ singles