A Skating Life - My Story by Dorothy Hamill with Deborah Amelon Books in Review
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A Skating Life - My Story
by Dorothy Hamill with Deborah Amelon
ISBN 14013-0328-0
Published October 2007 - Hardcover - 238 pages - $24.95

Dorothy Hamill will always be remembered as the young American ice skater who won an Olympic Gold Medal.  She dazzled audiences with her brilliance and spawned a kazillion hairstyle look-a-likes.  She looked radiant and in control.  Little did anyone know (how could they?) the sacrifices, tension, stress, and extreme hard work that went into becoming such a wonderful ice skater.  It's only when you read about the demands (physical, emotional, and financial) that you can truly appreciate Dorothy's dedication and determination.  Always in a conflict with her mother, and never feeling good enough, it was this prophetic sentence that said it all of her parents' union, and which rings true today for many families: "Neither of them could have guessed they each came from a family fraught with undiagnosed and untreated depression."  At twelve, Dorothy became a national champion, despite an earlier panic attack.  At school she battled, but on the ice she was free to be herself.  She candidly talks about her parents' depression, their drinking, and her mother's reputation as she traveled and lived with Dorothy both on the road or wherever it was they were living so that she could practice and compete.  She also talks about her coaches, schooling, friends, family and fellow skaters, of her travels and competing all over the world, her finances, while revealing much of what the public never really and truly knew or understood about her life.  Of course she also relates her life with Dean Paul Martin, her daughter, the Ice Capades, her depression, and her osteoarthritis.  I'm very happy that she's spoken out about the latter two.  Later in life, she thankfully came to understand her mother's behavior when Dorothy was young and just starting out.
Conclusion - Very moving and a delightful read.

book cover

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