Dorothy Hamill on Dancing With The Stars 2013: 7 Things to know

7 Things to Know

March 20, 2013 10:55:55 AM PDT
Dorothy Hamill, 56, is the oldest celebrity dancing on this season of Dancing With The Stars.Here are 7 things to know about the Olympic gold medalist:

1. Dorothy Hamill was born in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in Riverside, a community in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she learned to skate on her grandparent's pond.

2. She became known as "America's sweetheart" when she won the gold medal in figure skating at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

3. Shortly after winning the Olympic gold, Hamill won the 1976 World Championship in Gothenberg, Sweden. She later told ESPN, "In some ways this victory meant more to me than any other. I won the Olympics for my country, but I won the World Championship for myself."

4. Hamill won a Daytime Emmy Award for her starring role in the 1983 figure-skating production of Romeo & Juliet On Ice.

5. She left an enduring legacy on the skating world with a signature move. The Hamill Camel combines two standard elements - the camel spin and the sit spin. Her original move continues to be performed regularly by other skaters today.

6. Hamill has been married twice. Her first husband was the son of the legendary "Rat Pack" entertainer Dean Martin, Dean Paul. They were married for only two and a half years before divorcing. They had no children.

7. To break herself from smoking cigarettes, Hamill turned to celebrity hypnotist Pat Collins. Hamill admitted that she started smoking as a teenager, telling People magazine in 1976 that she had been puffing "maybe a half a pack a day." Collins once described Hamill as "one of her serious students."