Friday, February 13, 2009


CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - It was this day in 1975. I was a young girl as I watched my neighbors’ television and was totally awed by what I was watching. There was a lady with this sassy little haircut, a great smile and the most fantastic outfit skating around a rink in Innsbruck, Austria. She won the gold, of course, that Dorothy Hamill, and was immediately elevated in my mind to the area I have put so many people: untouchable. I knew that I would never get to meet her, never get to tell her that I went into the bathroom the next day and cut off all of my hair (sorry, mama) just to look like that. She was untouchable to me as any other celebrity, politician or any historic figure that I would like to say hello to but will never ever get the chance. Last January, however, she entered my world without even knowing it. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. That trusted American sports icon joined the sisterhood of so many of us, and my mind went to the irony of that situation. I will still never meet her, never get to give her a hug but we have walked the same path, she and I. She wasn’t the first olympic skater to have cancer – Peggy Fleming and Scott Hamilton have also faced this disease. Since my treatment, however, I now get to hang out with amazing ice skaters and even future olympic skaters, and what a blessing that is. I think it’s good to know that while we may not get to meet everyone we admire, we can still include them in our thoughts and prayers – you never know who might be taking the same journey as you!

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