I also find it incredibly endearing that Dorothy didn't have thick skin. At the 1974 World Championships in Munich, she took the ice after a German skater; the crowd booed when the German's marks were displayed, and Dorothy, thinking they were booing her, left the ice and burst into tears (and then won silver). At the Olympics, some of her supporters held a sign that said, "Which of the West? Dorothy!" in reference to who would defeat the East German skater to win gold; Dorothy misunderstood the reference and was hurt by it (but then figured it out, used it to calm her nerves, and won the gold medal). I mean, let's be real here -- nobody loves haters as much as they claim to. You have to respect someone that doesn't pretend to, and then turns around and wins anyway!
She's also credited with developing a new skating move, called the Hamill camel, which is a camel spin into a sit spin. Now, figure skating isn't like gymnastics where there are dozens upon dozens of moves, all of which are named after people. As far as I can find, the Hamill camel and the Biellmann are the only two spins named after the skater that made them famous. So, y'know, Dorothy's kind of a big deal.
And finally, Dorothy is a breast cancer survivor. Checkmate.
Dorothy was to figure skating what Rachel/Jennifer Aniston was to Friends, basically. Dorothy had a bob haircut? People ran out to get their hair chopped off. Dorothy wore giant glasses (because her coach wanted her to be able to see out of the corners for her compulsory figures)? People ran out to buy giant glasses. People also ran out to buy the Dorothy Hamill doll that was made in 1977 (for real), and the media dubbed her "America's sweetheart." I believe that's what they call Sandra Bullock nowadays, correct? Infer from that what you will.
She was also on Dancing with the Stars recently, and I was beyond ridiculously excited about it. But she had to drop out after two weeks because of an injury. I was DEVASTATED. But I think I'll stick with my long hair and regular-sized glasses. ;)
Again, I know I'm not writing these fan letters to get approval from the people I'm writing about, but this made me grin like a complete fool:
Dude. Between the responses from her and Todd, this is why I love pro volleyball players: because they really genuinely appreciate when you appreciate them. :) (Also, note how this five-time Olympian said I made her seem awesome. Uhh, didn't really have to work too hard to do that! haha.)