Few sports are as graceful and magical as ice-skating. There is something extremely soothing about watching highly skilled ice-skaters gliding across the ice in ways that we would never have imagined possible. The body flexibility and movement coordination that comes from these performances are awe-inspiring! We find ourselves wondering how people can be so agile and fluid in their movements, and how many hours of practice it must have taken for them to be so good. There is no doubt that rigorous training and a lot of hard work are required to make it to the very top of the sport. World-famous ice-skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean know what it takes, and after a highly distinguished career as ice-skaters, they now judge competitions.
However, once in a while, they do get the chance to perform and they show that even after a lot of time away from competitively skating, the duo is just as good, if not better, than they used to be during the height of their fame. In March 2019, they gave an incredible performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the “Dancing On Ice” championships on ITV. While their age has caught up with their bodies, the prodigious skaters are still able to outperform even the best skaters of today. After their performance was aired, netizens took to Twitter and other social media channels to share their views. Much like they amazed viewers back in 1984 during the Winter Olympics after their world-record performance, they continue to leave fans amazed today.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are iconic UK athletes who won gold at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, becoming the highest-scoring figure skaters of all time according to the BBC. They garnered 12 perfect 6.0 scores for their performance to the song “Boléro” by French composer Maurice Ravel, and all of these decades later, they are still making waves on the ice. After their win in 1984, the pair became professional ice-skaters for more than a decade. They briefly returned to amateur status so that they could compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. The duo retired from their professional competitive skating career in 1998.
After their final performance in 1998, the pair remained good friends for years but did not skate together again until they came out of retirement to take part in ITV’s “Dancing On Ice” in 2006. According to the show’s Wikipedia page, Torvill and Dean helped to coach aspiring dancers and appeared throughout the show with advice and comments for the dancers. They also opened every episode with their own performance, which we can imagine would be the highlight of these episodes! It is a treat to be able to watch world-record holders and Olympic gold medal winners on such an exciting show! Interestingly, the show’s page also notes that the network had doubts about its viability as it premiered in January 2006, but it became a surprise hit in Britain and climbed to the third highest-rated television show in 2006. This feat is certainly incredible, and the show has remained on television ever since.
Though they were in their 50s when the show began airing, they would perform dazzling shows that never failed to captivate the audience. They continue to be lyrical and fluid in their movements, working in perfect tandem with one another, a skill gained from many years of practicing together. Both Dean and Torvill spoke to The Mirror about their life and thought regarding their skating career in March 2019. Dean told the paper,
“Do we feel those 35 years in our bodies? Yes! You reach a certain age and that downward slope. Nowadays every time we perform we feel like we don’t know if that’s our last performance,” he contineud. “So each time we skate it feels like a little added bonus. It’s quite sentimental. We like performing together, but there is an emotion each time we skate now.”
They had given the gorgeous “Bridge Over Troubled Water” performance around the time of the interview, so they also opened up about the challenges of ice skating at an older age. Torvill was wistful about moves that she could previously do that she no longer could anymore, such as being held up in the air while sliding across the ice. About this, Dean said, “I could still do it. But there are age-appropriate things and I don’t think I should be throwing a 60-year-old lady around the ice.” Even without the theatrics that comes with ice-skating, both Torvill and Dean gave a breathtaking performance. The video below shows every viewer that this pair continues to harbor the talent they are world-famous for.
The graceful performance came before the announcement of James Jordan winning the entire series that year, as reported by The Sun. The amazing athletes were such a treat to watch once more. Their tricks and flips to lifts and spins were still present all through their show. With an additional team of back-up ice-dancers, they made the entire evening even more magical. They truly did not seem their 60 years of age as they performed! Speaking to The Mirror, Dean said:
“We still feel in our 20s. In our mind we can do everything but our body doesn’t allow it. We’re the best we can be at the moment.” He also added, “I hope we’ll realise when it’s time to stop skating before other people realise it.”
It is hard to imagine that anyone would feel that Dean and Torvill need to stop skating at any point in their life. With how gracefully they continue to perform, we are sure that they will continue to make a positive impact on the ice-skating world in some way or another throughout their life. Even if their skating career comes to an end in the future, we believe that their friendship will continue to remain strong. Ever since they set the rink alight with their record-shattering perfect score in 1984, they have fueled rumors of a possible romance that has been under wraps. Their unwavering friendship has remained an anchor for both of them through difficult circumstances both have endured throughout their life, but people continued to question: were they in love?
The Mirror reported that Torvill answered, “It was what it was at the time.” This answer left a lot unanswered still, but Dean had more to say on the subject. He finally revealed in a TV interview that they did “dabble” in romance while they were teenagers but and shared that there was a kiss in the back seat of a bus. Torvill’s memory is quite “hazy” on this subject matter, however, and she said that she titled Dean’s revelation as “dabblegate.” We may never know if they were truly in love or not, and the duo may never reveal their true feelings — but one thing that both of them are sure about is their strong friendship.
“We were, and still are, very close,” Dean said and added, “Our friendship is unique and unshakeable.” “We’ve been together so long we’re like Morecambe and Wise. We’re just Chris and Jayne.” Throughout their lives, they have had their fair share of struggles, but have always found support with each other. The Mirror reports that Dean gifted Torvill Cartier earrings that she continues to wear even after three decades. “I bought those earrings with our first pay packet,” Chris said. “Jayne wears them every time she skates. That’s symbolic of our friendship.”
Their deep love and support for one another are clearly seen in their seamless performances, and we are glad that they continue to dazzle and bewitch viewers with their insane talent. The video below is one of their most beloved performances and continues to inspire professional-ice-skaters-in-the-making even today.
Were you a Torvill and Dean fan back in the day? What do you think of their contemporary performances? Pass this on to an ice-skating fan in your life.