Vol. 20, No. 13

April 5, 2001

Dorothy Hamill to headline Ludington tribute

Skating superstar Dorothy Hamill, 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist, will headline the Ron Ludington Fund Ice Skating Show scheduled at 5 p.m., Sunday, April 22, in the Fred Rust Ice Arena.

Tickets for the event–at $15 for the general public and $12 for senior citizens and youth ages 12 and under–are on sale at box offices at the Bob Carpenter Center and the Trabant University Center and through Ticketmaster.

The Ron Ludington Fund honors the former Olympian, Olympic coach and member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, who has been the director of UD's world-renowned Ice Skating Science Development Center since 1987.

The fund supports the combination of science, training and education in a unified program concentrating on the development, training and education of competitive figure skaters; the training and education of coaches; and the advancement of the body of knowledge through interdisciplinary research directed toward performance enhancement and injury prevention.

Hamill captured the imagination of the world when she won Olympic gold at the age of 19 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Her musical interpretation, fluid skating and infectious charm led all nine judges to unanimously vote her the winner.

Hamill is one of the country's most influential athletes.

Her world famous "edge" hairstyle started a fashion craze that Life magazine called "one of the most important fashion statements of the last 50 years."

Beyond fashion, her unaffected personality and simple grace led her to be voted "the most trusted woman in America" by the Ladies Home Journal.

Hamill started skating at the age of 8 by stuffing socks in the front of her brother's oversized skates.

From Binny Pond near her childhood home of Riverside, Conn., she quickly progressed to 4 a.m. lessons at a local skating rink and seven-hour practice sessions. To this day, Hamill says she skates, "Because I just love it."

As a professional, Hamill skated with many productions including eight years with the Ice Capades, which she helped achieve pre-eminence among touring ice shows. She has an unprecedented four ABC prime time specials to her credit and won an Emmy for her starring role in Romeo and Juliet.

Eventually, she founded her own production company, Hamill-Camel, named for the skating maneuver she made famous. In 1989, she starred in the critically acclaimed Nutcracker on Ice for NBC and starred in another production in 1990 for Canadian television.

Hamill is involved with charity work for a number of organizations, including the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the International Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Sisters and the American Cancer Society. Additionally, she works with a March of Dimes program that helps blind children learn to skate.

Recently, with the loss of many friends to AIDS, she has donated her time to helping raise money for a variety of AIDS foundations.

When asked about special memories, she often cites the experience of flying around the rink with a blind child on her back and hearing the child exclaim, "Oh! I can feel the wind on my face!"

Ludington has worked with numerous Olympic, national and international medalists.

He has coached skaters in nine consecutive Olympics and 36 World Championships.

He holds several skating titles: U.S. Pair Champion (1956-60), U.S. Silver Dance Champion (1958), World Bronze Medalist (1959) and World Invitational Dance Champion (1965).

He was named Coach of the Year in 1990 by the Professional Skaters Guild of America, inducted in the U.S. Figure Skating Association Hall of Fame in 1993 and was the 1995 recipient of the PSA's Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more information on Hamill's UD appearance, call UD1-HENS.

–Beth Thomas