Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean

I saw Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean for the first time at the Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway in 1980. And I was a huge fan at that very moment. A fan without any reservations and the people around me thought, it's crazy Han again. I went to England only to buy their biography (no Internet, no Amazon in those days) and I've still got it.
They were my age more or less and maybe I was dreaming out loud how wonderful it would be to be so close to a woman as they evidently were. Two people to move as one. The intimacy between the skaters I marveled at that. They were my projection how love should look like, I guess.

Kept it all those years...


Like Torvill, Dean was dumped by his then dance partner who wanted to pursue London opportunities. And so, aged 16, Christopher Dean teamed up with 17 year old Jayne Torvill in 1975. Both from Nottingham and from working class backgrounds, their work ethic was intimidating. Torvill was supporting herself with a job as an insurance clerk and Dean was working as a police constable (and along with Jayne, studying ballet.) When their ice rink closed to the public at 11pm, they would start training, continuing until 3am. Dean was eventually taught how to operate the ice tractor so that the rink could be resurfaced before opening up to the public in the morning. One ice rink worker even had to turn up on Christmas Day just so they could keep to their training schedule. And the ice rink was far from high tech. Both remember the many rats with which they used to share their training area .But three years after meeting, they won the British Championships.

They then won 5th place in the 1980 New York Winter Olympics but the pair were only able to give up their jobs after a controversial Nottingham City Council grant. Nottingham born, and now backed, the couple started to attract national media attention. In 1981, after a backstage meeting, they acquired their own acting mentor in ‘Some Mothers Do Ave Em’ and later ‘Phantom of the Opera’ star, Michael Crawford. He’s credited with helping them win the world championships in 1983 with their circus inspired ‘Barnum’ piece.
Their relentless drive paid off and in 1984 they became world famous for their free programme performance of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro. 24 million people in the UK applauded as the Olympic judges at Sarajevo awarded their steamy synchronicity perfect scores, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s night.

24 million people in the UK and at least one Dutchman. I knew their routine so well, I still can see the little faults in the program.




Everybody expected that they would marry someday, but they never became a romantic act off the ice. Dean got married and divorced twice, Torvill married a sound engineer and had a son and a daughter.

After the Olympics they went to get the big money in ice shows and I lost track of Torvill an Dean and ice skating as well.

Looking back at the routine sure does bring back memories.

8 comments:

  1. I adore ice skating Han and loved watching Torville and Dean. They have both gone on to coach and choreograph some of the new ice dancing teams. Ice skating is one of my favorite sports and I love to watch all the events and shows. Absolutely love watching the Olympic ice events! Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and Blessings...
    Cat

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    Replies
    1. I remember him coaching a couple Isabelle and Paul? Forgot their last name Duschenay or something. Brother and sister? It was quite a revelution what they did in those days to get music written for their number, and telling a story on ice. It is all quite different now with lifts and points for tecnical merit.
      I still love the way they were totally focussed and in sync.

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  2. A man intersserad in figure skating. strangely uncommon.

    Figure skating .. If the world was different when I was little, I would be ice princess.
    I have loved figure skating all my life. I saw on TV all went to see in figure skating. I remember this couple, he and yes, they were fantastic.

    Thank you for this remind people of the good that do exist in the world.

    Mona Lisa

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    Replies
    1. Strangely uncommon. I suppose it is. I don't care really. Never did. Crazy Han. Is he queer? If you like figure skating, go figure... He just needs to come out of the closet.

      Never really had a second thought about it. I knew I loved women too much. All women I guess. And why didn't they see how wonderful it would be to have a woman with you you could touch at - well delightful places - and moving with her like you are one. It is ultimate erotica really. You just have to really look to see.

      Delete
    2. You don't have to be gay to enjoy figure skating...I know many men who are interested in figure skating...including the figure skaters and ice dancers...and not all of them are gay! ;)

      Hugs and Blessings...
      Cat

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    3. I know Cat and it doesn't bother me much. There are quite a few people out there who cannot understand someone who is a bit different compared to the majority.
      People gossip anyway. so let's give them a subject to gossip about, right?

      You are a gem,

      Han

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  3. I am commenting a bit late, but is this a test to see of we read carefully what you wrote?
    Lillehammer is in Norway, not France.

    I too enjoyed their skating very much. They changed figure skating for couples for ever.

    appy

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    Replies
    1. Of course you are right Appy. With readers like you I cannot make mistakes? Serious, I'm glad you took the time to read it all. Stupid mistake of mine.

      Thank you very much,

      Han

      Delete

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