I'll never forget watching Jayne Torvill and Chris Dean skate into the history books at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Perfect scores of 6.0 right across the board - my whole family jumped up and screamed in celebration. I've never forgotten that feeling, seeing the Union Flag held highest, hearing our National Anthem in the stadium, and like so many other people, rushing out to try and buy a copy of Ravel's Bolero, which I would never even have heard of otherwise, let alone buy.
It was 1984 and we were in full Diana mania, with many of us girls sporting that 'Shy Di' flicked back hairstyle, and Jayne Torvill having a really short version of it so she could skate without her hair getting in her face.
Torvill and Dean's Olympic ice dance routine was like no other before it. I remember them talking on TV about how they were taking a huge risk by dancing to only one tempo and one musical number, instead of the usual two or three that skaters chose to show off their skills.
Chris Dean explained how they'd had to edit the music down to the maximum four and a half minutes allowed for their routine, and how that one piece of music changed pace enough throughout so they could show off their skills on the ice rink. Before Torvill and Dean, Ravel's Bolero had been famous for Bo Derek's suggestive line in the film '10' with Dudley Moore. Torvill and Dean changed all that.
I do remember seeing the routine on television before the Olympics, and it had been talked about so often in the press that there was a worry that we'd all hyped it up too much and the element of surprise had gone. I'd watched them win championships on TV before, with their amazing choreography in routines like Barnum, and the Paso Doble with Jayne being the bullfighter's cape and dragged across the ice so balletically in the dance.
Their routines, for the music they chose and the sheer brilliance of their choreography, I could watch again and again, even now. No other ice dance couple have ever been the same - before or since them. The feeling of seeing them win in Sarajevo, and win so well with all those sixes across the screen, was the best Olympic moment ever for me until London 2012. I'll never forget it, and just hope that one day we can win skating gold again.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Sports & Recreation
- Jayne Torvill
- Chris Dean
- Torvill and Dean