ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dorothy Hamill, the skater of all substances

Updated on December 12, 2014

Dorothy Hamill: the most proficient power skater ever

For renowned power skaters, Sonja Henie, Katarina Witt, Midori Ito, Tanya Harding etc make the list.

The Great Sonja Henie was the first power skater in the budding year of the sport, and the most successful skater, perhaps, of all time.

Katarina Witt was a skater who represented the 1980s in her shining star personality. Midori Ito was an athletic champion who first landed triple axel.

One of the common traits shared among power skaters was that they were superb competitive, and that's obvious for a few reasons.

In figure skating, power and speed are the most critical factors to appreciate given that other elements are all in place, because in competition, they are critical, not only in claiming the victory but in elevating quality of skating.

Therefore, power skaters are by default comparatively ahead of others.

Of course, there are a few catches. Power skaters tend to be less sophisticated and less flexible than lyrical and artistic skaters, and are in high risk of falling.

What's unique about Dorothy Hamill is that she was an all-in-one skater. Based on given data available, no skater ever matched Dorothy Hamill in terms of skating asset.

That's quite obvious if you look at Hamill's background: Hamill was a direct beneficiary from Peggy Fleming and Janet Lynn. Like Janet Lynn and Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill was also categorically a lyrical and artistic skater.

But Hamill's power skating bolstered by solid compulsory discipline and the legacy of the two giants, Fleming and Lynn, was what made her the one and only.

Dorothy Hamill in 1976

Double axel and ladies figure skating

There are many things you can judge skaters by, but one of the easiest factors for non-expert to fathom the level of skater is speed and power.

But if that still poises a hurdle, then take a look at double axel and compare its quality of each skater. Double axel has been practicing about for 60 years.

In the 1970s double axel had a weight equivalent of triple axel today, but by definition, double axel is double axel, a common denominator for different times that provides valuable insight to technical evolution of the sport.

Considering technical knowhow and scientific and technological advance in time, you may expect much better quality in double axel by skaters today than skaters in old times.

Surprisingly, no skater shows any quality close to those legends' in the 1970s - of course that's why they are legends. Although ladies figure skating has already embraced triple axel and is officially in the triple era, it has never technically advanced.

Dorothy Hamill in 1975

Double axel in the era of triple jump

Then you may scratch your head. What about Linda Fratianne's triple? What about Midori Ito's triple axel? What about Katarina's triple toes?

Accurately speaking, we cannot call it advanced or upgraded unless we see their jumping technique beat in quality those of old times - at least their double axel quality matched those of the old time.

Skaters after Hamill threw triples, even today, but we do not necessarily say that double axel technique has evolved ever since or triple technique has been completed.

It is still in progress. Only tentatively we can say, based on Yuna Kim, standards of triple technique has been established. Despite the fact that all skaters landed triples in competition there wasn't technical advancement if you look at the quality of double axel.

Even when Midori Ito's monumental achievement on triple axel stunned the world, that wasn't an technical advancement; Ito's technique was superb at the time, but never reached the kind of mastery shown of the old time. Ito's contribution was introduction of triple axel.

It was with Yuna Kim that we can now say the technique of double axel has been completed, but that doesn't mean skaters today mastered double axel.

On the contrary even Kim's double axel could barely match the old legend's quality. As you may already know, most skaters' double axel today cannot even get close to the level of legends of the old time. Some quality of the old may never repeat, perhaps.

Lynn's double axel remains unattainable like her ethereal skating and Hamill's still shines in jaw-dropping magnificence. What saved our day from humiliation is perhaps Yuna Kim's immaculate double axel. Kim's was in such a refined form, one of her definitive legacies.

Dorothy Hamill in 1976

A skater who astonished the Great Peggy Fleming

Once Fleming marveled at Hamill's speed and power.

If you look at the speed Hamill generated as she prepared for a delay axel at the start of program, you will understand what it should look like at that time.

Hamill's skating was characterized by virtually all qualities required in ladies figure skating, such as line, extension, balance, stability, aesthetic sensitivity, physiological integration, athleticism, and musical interpretation, in addition to historic compulsories.

To simply put it, in the history of ladies figure skating, we haven't seen any skater who may challenge Dorothy Hamill in skating assets. Hamill was an ideally packaged skater with all conceivable qualities in the ladies figure skating.

What do you think the most outstanding feature of Janet Lynn's double axel?

See results

What do you think the most outstanding feature of Dorothy Hamill's double axel?

See results

What do you think the most outstanding feature of Yuna Kim's double axel?

See results

Dorothy Hamill in 1974

Dorothy Hamill: the very best all-round skater

Though Hamill's career was very short, her all round - physical, physiological, athletic, aesthetic, and even interpretative - skating talent and competitive strength were unmatched to this day.

What do you think Hamill's greatest feature in her skating?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      In a biking race in dontwown St. Catharines about 12 years ago, a young man crashed into a plate glass window with his bike. Nobody thought he was seriously hurt and left him alone until the rest of the racing pack had passed. A long shard of glass had pierced his heart and he died. Some times things are way more dangerous than they seem. I'm so glad everyone walked/skated away from this one.Rosemary

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Wow, I love your top. It drapes so beiutafully.And thanks for all your lovely comments on my blog. Saying I look taller than I am is the best compliment you could give. I'm so excited that you pop by because you're the 2nd blogger I started following and such an inspiration.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)