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On And Off The Ice

On And Off The Ice


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Description for ON AND OFF THE ICE by Dorothy Hamill:

"Suddenly I was carrying more than my own personal hopes and fears. I felt that in a sense I was not longer Dorothy Hamill---I was the United States. The medal was not mine to lose---I was representing the hopes and dreams of thousands of people I had never even met...I tried to block everything out except the skating. I tried to focus my mind, make it concentrate totally on the coming program...And then I was skating, and I had never felt as good as I did at that moment."

Dorothy Hamill went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal and the World Figure Skating Championship; she has been called "America's Sweetheart," named "Outstanding Athlete of the Year", and voted "the most trusted female athlete". Her picture has appeared on the cover of "Time" magazine; she has skated in ice ballets and with the Ice Capades, and is well known to television audiences. Her zest for skating and sense of fun light everything she does.

In a voice full of spirit and good humor, Dorothy Hamill tells the story of the life behind her many titles and achievements---a life marked by dedication, sacrifice and hard work, and rewarded by excellence. We meet the young girl who decided at the age of nine that nothing was more important to her than skating. We learn what it was like to get up at five every morning to practice and try to keep up with school too; to be friends off the ice with the people she was trying to beat on the ice; to know the thrill of a standing ovation or, as happened at the 1974 World Championship, to skate to boos. We hear her impressions of other skaters---Janet Lynn, John Curry, Toller Cranston---and her coaches, among them Otto Gold, Gustave Lussi and Carlo Fassi. Then we get a glimpse of Dorothy Hamill the professional skater, as well as the wife of Dean Martin, Jr. Throughout this book we see a person who has become famous but has never lost the earthiness and naturalness, and the humility, that have won her many fans.

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