Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
A Challenge In Lillehamer
As for the originators, Torvill and Dean had to follow their own considerable act. Turning pro, they toured the ice-show circuit for a decade. "They got rich," said Sullivan. "Eventually they got bored." When they heard of a rules change that allowed professional skaters to compete in the Olympics, the pair convinced each other to prepare for the 1994 winter games. When they arrived in Lillehamer, Norway, the now-senior members of icedancing's elite had to share the rink with a new generation of ice dancers. It was a "rude awakening," according to Diane Pucin, in a 1994 Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service wire story. "For the first time in their international careers, Torvill and Dean didn't lead after the compulsories." They were tied for second after enduring a humiliating 5.2 from one judge on the required pasa doble movement. But for the two-minute dance, the partners returned to form, performing a lively rumba that earned them two perfect sixes. They had moved back into first place in time for the free-dance finale, which counted for fifty percent of the total score.
But this time, gold eluded Torvill and Dean. They performed a technically challenging Fred Astaire-and-Ginger-Rogers-type routine with characteristic innovation—including backflips, splits, and the woman lifting the man—and the audience responded with a sustained standing ovation. But the cheers changed to boos when Torvill and Dean's technical merit scores—averaging around 5.7—were posted. The Britons finished third to two Russian dance pairs, Oksana Grichtchuk and Yevgeny Platov (gold), and Maya Usova and Aleskandr Zhulin (silver). Not coincidentally, three of the judges who placed the Russians higher represented Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
- Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean - Chronology
- Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean - Bound For Sarajevo
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