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Skating legend Hamill diagnosed with breast cancer

Olympic champion undergoing treatment at Johns Hopkins

1976 Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill.
1976 Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill. (Getty Images)

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By Todd Hinckley
(01/05/2008) - Skating legend and 1976 Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she announced in a statement on Friday that she is undergoing treatment at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

Right now, the outlook is good for the 51-year-old, but her upcoming treatment will still force her to miss some of the "Broadway on Ice" tour. Her longtime friend Brian Boitano will replace her, beginning Saturday night in Sarasota, Fla. Hamill said she hopes to rejoin the tour shortly, perhaps in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where there are shows on Jan. 16-17.

Hamill is not the first Olympic champion to have cancer. Peggy Fleming, the 1968 ladies gold medalist, also suffered from breast cancer. Fleming was diagnosed in 1998, but she is now cancer free. She was very open about her whole experience in an effort to help raise awareness.

In October 2007, Fleming even co-hosted Frosted Pink on Ice, a promotional event mixing stars from the ice and the entertainment industry run by Frosted Pink, a two-year multimedia campaign aimed at awareness and a call to action.

The 1984 Olympic men's champion, Scott Hamilton, had testicular cancer. He was diagnosed in 1997.

Hamill burst onto the national stage at 19 when she won the Olympic gold in Innsbruck in 1976. She also won the world title that year and had already taken three U.S. national crowns. The bubbly teenager became America's sweetheart after her Olympic triumph, and her famous wedge haircut was copied by girls all across the country.

Now, some of those same fans will cheer her on as she fights a new battle and will wait to see her back on the ice again soon.