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Dorothy Hamill: What she says about her 'Dancing with the Stars' departure

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(Read caption) Dorothy Hamill announced that she would be leaving the show, causing the two bottom contestants on 'Dancing with the Stars' to remain in the competition.

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“Dancing with the Stars” contestant Dorothy Hamill announced that she was leaving the competition after suffering an injury.

Hamill said she would be leaving the competition as the two contestants who were candidates for elimination, reality actress Lisa Vanderpump and boxer Victor Ortiz, waited to find out who was going to be sent home.

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The former ice skater said she had injured her back.

“It could cause irreparable nerve damage," Hamill said of continuing on the show. "And it would be completely unfair of me to stay in this and have any of these people go home.” 

If she had been uninjured, Hamill had scored well enough that she would have remained in the competition.

Hamill was competing with partner Tristan MacManus and had participated in the first two weeks of competition, performing a jive and contemporary routine, respectively.

After announcing on Tuesday’s show that she would be leaving, the former Olympian told USA Today that she was still sad over having to depart the show.

“My injury is still bothersome with the pain and numbness that go with it," Hamill said in an e-mail. "But I'm really feeling a huge loss and sadness… My next big project is to get my back and spine better… I don't know what that is going to entail. But I have the best team of doctors to advise me. So it isn't a glamorous project. But it will be a full-time commitment. With any luck, I will be able to skate again. And maybe even dance.”

Hamill said she would return to “Stars” “in a heartbeat” if the show would let her back in.

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She told Entertainment Weekly she’ll be attending future shows even if she won’t be participating.

“Whether I’ll be dancing or not, I will be here,” Hamill said. 

Hamill won a gold medal at the Olympics in 1976 for women’s singles figure skating.