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Spinal injury forces Hamill to drop out of 'DWTS'

Pain proved to be too much to overcome for Olympic champion skater

Dorothy Hamill, with partner Tristan MacManus and host Brooke Burke, said goodbye to <i>Dancing with the Stars</i> Tuesday night.
Dorothy Hamill, with partner Tristan MacManus and host Brooke Burke, said goodbye to Dancing with the Stars Tuesday night. (ABC)

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By icenetwork.com
(03/27/2013) - Dorothy Hamill, the 1976 Olympic figure skating champion, announced on the Dancing with the Stars results show Tuesday night that she was leaving the competition because of a spinal injury.

"I've taken the advice of my spine surgeon, and I need to withdraw from the competition," she said on the show. "I have an injury that could be irreperable, and nerve damage, and it would be completely unfair for me to stay in this and have any of these people go home."

Hamill and partner Tristan MacManus received positive feedback and high scores from the judges for their contemporary dance in week one. They performed a jive on the season's second episode Monday night, when it was apparent she was affected by her injuries (read more here).

Hamill was declared "safe" on Tuesday night's show, but as the final two couples -- boxer Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold, and "Real Housewife" Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko -- waited to see who would be eliminated, host Tom Bergeron brought out Hamill to announce her withdrawal.

"It's not that I don't want to be here. I wish I could give it my all, and I can't," Hamill said.

Hamill was quick to thank her partner and fellow castmates in her farewell speech.

"This man (MacManus) is a treasure. He's been so supportive," Hamill said. "And all of these people, it's the most incredible place to be. I feel so lucky I was a part of it for a short time."