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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.

Chronology

1975 First teamed as ice dancers
1976 First international win, St. Gervais
1984 Represented Great Britain at the Olympic winter games, Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1984 Begin touring as professionals
1987 Dean begins as choreographer for other skaters
1990 Torvill marries Philip Christensen
1991 Dean marries Isabelle Duchesnay (divorced, 1993)
1994 Dean marries Jill Trenary
1994 Represented Great Britain at Olympic winter games, Lillehamer, Norway
1994 "Face the Music" farewell tour
1998 "Stars on Ice" tour
1999 Torvill begins work as choreographer for other skaters

Awards and Accomplishments

1976 First international win, St. Gervais
1978 First of seven British national championships
1981 First of four European championships
1981 First of four world championships
1981 Named Members of the British Empire (MBE)
1983 Win Gold Star Ice Dance test
1984 Gold medal, Olympic winter games
1984 BBC Sports Personalities of the Year
1984 First of five World Professional Ice Dance championships
1989 Inducted into World Figure Skating Hall of Fame
1993 Honorary Master of Arts, Nottingham Trent University
1994 Bronze medal, Olympic winter games
1995 Honored by German Federation for contribution to sport
2000 Named to Order of the British Empire (OBE)

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.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFigure SkatingJayne Torvill and Christopher Dean Biography - Sport Or Art?, Bound For Sarajevo, A Challenge In Lillehamer, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY TORVILL AND DEAN: