- 08 Oct 2007
- IOC News
The unforgettable skater Jayne Torvill was born on 7 October 1957 in Nottingham, the Heart of England, fifty years ago. A star of ice dancing, she shone on skates from the end of the 1970s onwards with her partner, Christopher Dean. It is impossible to think of one without the other. These two athletes, with different but complementary qualities, became one on the ice, in perfect harmony.
A perfect duo
How did they meet? They were both from Nottingham, and both without partners, meaning that the circumstances were right for their paths to cross. In 1975, Jayne did her first test session with Christopher, who was one year her junior. She was, above all, a technician and he was a dancer, and the new pair had to find a balance. She was smaller than him, so they had to find their harmony. They were both adolescents, so they had to overcome their shyness. They were both uptight, and their first dances were deemed “horrible” by Jayne, who even fell during a blues number. Step by step, figure by figure, their movements came together and confidence settled in. These two determined young athletes started their first competition season together the same year. It was not long before sparks were flying on the ice.
In 1984, the star couple took part in the Olympic Games in Sarajevo, giving a new, breathtaking show of their talent. In the ice dancing event, the British skaters had to perform three programmes: the compulsories, original and free dances. For the paso doble original dance, they took images from bullfighting which the Spanish rhythm inspired in them. In the choreography, Jayne was a black and white cape that spun endlessly around its matador. In the free programme, they danced to Ravel’s Bolero, interpreting the dramatic and romantic story of two lovers, whose impossible love drove them to death.