Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Surprising Bankrupt Athletes


6
Dorothy Hamill
Wearing her trademark wedge haircut, Dorothy Hamill took silver at the 1975 World Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tony Duffy/Getty Images
Wearing her trademark wedge haircut, Dorothy Hamill took silver at the 1975 World Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Dorothy Hamill is not only one of the greatest figure skaters to ever grace the ice, but her personal style and girl-next-door charm helped launch a mid-1970s haircut craze. At 19 years old, an underdog Hamill won the figure skating gold medal in Innsbruck, Austria in 1976. Her trademark wedge haircut became the go-to style for millions of American girls and earned Hamill lucrative endorsements, including commercials for Clairol "Short & Sassy" conditioner [source: Hilton].

Retiring from amateur skating, Hamill earned the first-ever $1 million contract for a female athlete when she signed with the newly launched Ice Capades [source: Hilton]. Hamill eventually bought the Ice Capades franchise with her second husband, one of several risky business decisions that ultimately led her to declare bankruptcy in 1994 [source: Celizic].

In a tell-all memoir published in 2007, Hamill detailed her lifelong battle with depression and her personal trials, including two divorces and the tragic death of her first ex-husband — "the love of my life" — in a plane crash [source: Celizic].


More to Explore