Dean on the Dancing on Ice tour in Manchester, 2010
|Country represented||Great Britain|
|Born||Christopher Colin Dean |
27 July 1958
Calverton, Nottinghamshire, England
|Spouse(s)||Isabelle Duchesnay (1991-1993)|
Jill Trenary (1994-2010)
|Height||5 ft 10.5 in (1.79 m)|
|Former partner||Sandra Elson, Jayne Torvill|
|Former coach||Betty Callaway, Janet Sawbridge|
Christopher Colin Dean, OBE (born 27 July 1958 in Calverton, Nottinghamshire) is an English ice dancer who won a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics with his skating partner Jayne Torvill. They also won a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Dean grew up in Calverton, Nottinghamshire. When he was six, his mother left and his father remarried. Dean never talked about this with his father or stepmother, both of whom have died. He has regained contact with his mother.
From 1974 to 1980, he was a police constable with Nottinghamshire Police.
Christopher Dean began to skate at the age of 10 after he received a pair of skates as a Christmas present. His parents were keen ballroom dancers. At school he was captain of the football team and he saw ice skating as a sport that was athletic and graceful. Dean's first ice partner was Sandra Elson. They began skating together when he was 14 and competed as ice dancers for a few years under their instructor Len Sayward. However, despite becoming British Junior Dance champions, the team parted, as Dean and Elson did not get along well. Dean then agreed to try out Jayne Torvill, another skater at the Nottingham rink. The pair were first coached by Janet Sawbridge but in 1978 Betty Callaway became their coach.
Dean left school at age 16 and joined the Nottingham Police Force in 1974. It was challenging for him to undergo police cadet training, as his schedule often clashed with his skating training sessions. Thus Torvill and Dean had to practise during his off-hours. These difficult times brought them closer and gave them a sense of discipline that was to prove vital throughout their career.
By 1980 Torvill and Dean had progressed to not only become British National Dance Champions but were in medal contention in international competitions as well. It was then that Chris realised he could no longer balance his skating and police careers, and he resigned from the police force. Torvill soon left her job as well, this was made possible with a Nottingham City Council grant of £42,000.
Dean also served as the chief choreographer for the Torvill and Dean team.
Torvill and Dean's free program at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, performed to the music of Maurice Ravel's Boléro, became world-famous. They received nine 6.0 marks for artistic impression, (three more for technical merit for a total of twelve 6.0 marks) the highest possible score and the only time ever that an all-perfect score was achieved. It was one of the most popular achievements in the history of British sport, watched by a British television audience of 24 million people. Since the time limit was four minutes and ten seconds and their music was four minutes 28 seconds, they moved their bodies to the music for 18 seconds before starting to skate.
Torvill and Dean turned professional after their 1984 Olympic win. Under then existing Olympic Games rules as professionals they became ineligible to participate in Olympic competition. In 1993 the International Skating Union relaxed the rules for professional skaters, allowing the pair to participate in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer where they won a bronze medal.
Torvill and Dean were admitted to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1989.
In January 2012, Dean said he was open to working with the National Ice Skating Association to help British competitive skating. Torvill and Dean were ambassadors for the 2012 European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield, England. In February 2014, they visited Sarajevo for the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics, and recreated their Bolero routine in the same arena where they won the gold.
Professional ice dance routines
28 April 1983 Dean was appointed Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham. Dean was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1999.
On 15 October 1994, Dean married American skater Jill Trenary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They had two sons, Jack Robert and Sam Colin, and resided in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dean's agent confirmed in March 2010 that the couple had separated. He and Trenary remain on good terms.
In popular culture
- Christopher Dean, ‘Sports Reference’
- Piers Morgan's Life Stories, 8 March 2013
- "1984: British ice couple score Olympic gold". BBC News. 14 February 1984.
- "100 Greatest Sporting Moments – Results". Channel 4.
- "Athlete Profile – Dean". olympic.org. Archived from the original on 3 January 2006.
- Elfman, Lois (28 November 2011). "Torvill and Dean prepare for return of 'Dancing'". Ice Network. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Williams, Ollie (3 January 2012). "Torvill and Dean could return to help British ice skaters". BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- Sito-Sucic, Daria (14 February 2014). "Torvill & Dean relive Bolero 30 years on". Reuters.
Media related to Christopher Dean at Wikimedia Commons