Torvill and Dean Win Gold
The 14th of February 1984 AD
As with curling at a later Winter Olympics, Britain suddenly became interested in pairs skating with the emergence of Nottingham's Torvill and Dean as probable Olympic champions heading for the Sarajevo games in 1984. John Curry in 1976 and Robin Cousins in 1980 had taken golds in the men’s event, so by Sarajevo even fat blokes in the pub were speaking from some experience about toe-loops, double axels and triple salchows.
Whether you regard ice dancing as a sport or not, the routine the pair performed to take the gold was mesmerising: danced to a shortened version of Ravel’s Bolero, it was artistically brilliant, thanks in part to the coaching of Michael Crawford who had worked with the couple on expressing themselves as actors on ice. And the routine was also very sexy – a wiser man than me once wrote about the attraction of ice-skaters’ thighs. There were fears that because it departed from the usual somewhat random series of athletic jumps and twirls it would be marked down, but in the end it received many perfect scores, and moved the whole event forward technically and artistically.
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