Nottingham has been known for its sporting history and holds the great honour of being the birthplace of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, a famous ice skating couple. Torvill and Dean have tapped their talented toes on many ice rinks but began their skating life on something small.
Jayne Torvill was born on the 7th October 1957 and first got introduced to the ice at the age of eight, when a trip to her local ice rink caught her eye. Jayne trained well and hard with 2 hour practice sessions before and after school, draining her parent’s money out on equipment and lessons. All of that money went to a great cause due to Jayne’s perseverance and hard work.
Only 6 years later, at the young age of 14, Torvill won the British National Pairs Championships with her early partner Michael Hutchenson. Jayne’s ice skating career was on the way, even though she may not have realised it at the time.
On the other hand, Christopher Dean was only introduced to his own pair of ice-skates at the age of 10, a wonderful Christmas present. Christopher had lived a hard life as his father was a coal miner and his mother had left him but despite that, he worked hard and was a perfectionist on the ice.
Just as his career was kicking off, Dean’s partner left him to pursue other dreams without him. This event had also happened to Torvill whose partner had moved on to other things. Still wanting to carry on Ice-skating, Torvill and Dean met up at the age of 17 and 16 in 1975. Both living and training in Nottingham, the couple were a perfect match.
Later on, the pair got a coach and began to train in Oberstdorf, in the south of Germany. The couple worked well together and kept to their routines even on Christmas Day! Nothing could stop them from practising and achieving their goal!
Many years later, in 1984, Torvill and Dean won over the judges with their dance, Bolero, performed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, getting perfect 6’s from every judge! They were ecstatic and exhausted, especially because their routine took over 17 minutes. Their achievement would live on in the hearts of others and would always be remembered as one of the biggest achievements of Nottingham.
Inspired by Torvill and Dean, Nottingham may have yet another ice-skating champion on the rise. I am lucky enough to interview Chloe, a young girl in Year 10 from Bluecoat Academy who has her heart set on ice-skating. We asked her a few questions “When did you first start ice-skating?” Chloe replied “When I was 6. I trained for a year then I got invited to the Academy. I seemed to enjoy it and I made a lot of friends with whom I grew up with.”
We then asked her what her first big achievement was and Chloe told us that it was when she first got invited to the Academy at the age of 7.
“What inspired you to become an Ice-skater?” Chloe answered “I was watching a couple called Nick and Penny on you-tube and also Torvill and Dean and I thought they were really good and thought and hoped that I could achieve something as big as them.”
Her inspirations and her parents are to thank for her success. We asked her what her parents think of her becoming an ice-skater: “My mum was very into it but my dad didn’t really care but as we went along, my mum helped me through it and helped me get along although she doesn’t like paying the £300 a month.” She said with a laugh.
“What are your recent achievements?” Chloe explained to us about a recent competition “Last year I did a competition in Sheffield and I got Bronze out of the entire nation out of 26 people. There were a lot of mini competitions leading up to the occasion so I had to get them right. The final competition eventually went well.”
The hardest move Chloe had ever tried was the ‘Death Spiral’. When I first heard the name, I knew Chloe must’ve trained hard for this.
We also asked Chloe what her biggest dream was. She explained that she’s always wanted to find the perfect partner and enter the next Winter Olympics.
Finally, we asked Chloe for some advice for budding ice-skating champions “Looking back, it’s been tough and the training was quite intense, but overall I’ve enjoyed it, so keep at it and when it gets hard, think of the achievements at the end of the road!”
For all of those soon to be champion sportsmen/women, good luck and win Nottingham the gold!