Surrender Dorothy? Ice Skater Hamill Refuses to Quit ‘DWTS’ Despite Injury

Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus on "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC)

Famed Olympic ice skater Dorothy Hamill got low scores for her “Dancing with the Stars” performance on Monday night after she was hobbled by a back injury.

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But the determined athlete, the oldest competitor this season at age 56, told that she’s determined to continue in the grueling dance competition.

“I don’t give up,” she said. “I guess there’s probably a good argument for somebody saying, ‘You should probably just not do it’ but I made the commitment and I love it and as long as I’m not doing anything to make things worse, I really enjoy it. I really wanted to learn how to dance and I don’t want to leave until I learn how to dance!”

After a splendid contemporary dance last week, Dorothy looked like she could be one of the front runners. But in practice for this week’s performance of the jive with partner Tristan MacManus, a cyst in her back flared up which also affected her ankle. The ice queen only received a score of 15 for the dance, in which she made a lot of mistakes and looked like the injury had affected her.

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“It’s my lumbar spine,” she explained after the show. “The nerve has been irritated by the cyst because there’s not enough room in the spine.”

When asked what could be done about her back injury, Dorothy, a breast cancer survivor, explained, “I don’t think they would perform surgery. If I didn’t have to dance, I think they would treat it the way they’re treating it now and then when you don’t have to dance, it’s easier to access and evaluate it and take some time off.”

But Dorothy hopes to continue DWTS. “I’m hanging in there,” the brave star said.

Meanwhile, Dorothy’s partner Tristan was more cautious, telling, “I certainly don’t want to put anyone in jeopardy and it’s not my position to make medical decisions on stuff. But at the same time, I think we have to be honest with ourselves. You can’t be disappointed with the stuff you have no control of.”

Dorothy made the decision to perform on Monday night despite the injury, not him, Tristan said. “I think we have to take the competition minute by minute and be smart about this stuff.”

In fact, Tristan seemed to indicate although Dorothy wants to continue, she might not. “If we’re lucky enough to make it through [Tuesday night elimination night] it doesn’t justify making yourself worse for one more week. You have to be smart all the time. It’s not a quick fix for the show when it involves someone’s career,” the professional dancer said.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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