Jayne Torvill

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Jayne Torvill
Jayne Torvill.jpg
Torvill on the Dancing on Ice tour in Manchester, 2010
Personal information
Country represented Great Britain
Born (1957-10-07) 7 October 1957 (age 62)
Clifton, Nottingham, England
Height5 ft 2.5 in (1.59 m)[1]
Former partnerMichael Hutchenson (pairs), Christopher Dean (ice dance)
Former coachBetty Callaway
Janet Sawbridge
Retired1984, 1994

Jayne Torvill, OBE (born 7 October 1957) is an English ice dancer. With Christopher Dean, she won a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, becoming one of the oldest figure skating Olympic medalists.

Early life[edit]

Torvill was born in Clifton, Nottingham, England, and grew up in Nottingham, attending Clifton Hall Girls' Grammar School and worked in the city as an insurance clerk at Norwich Union.[2]

Ice skating[edit]

She became hooked on ice skating at the age of 8 following an after-school trip to the local ice rink. In 1971 at age 14 Torvill became the British National Pairs Champion with her then-partner Michael Hutchenson.

After parting from Hutchenson, Torvill continued to skate on her own for a while before teaming up with Christopher Dean in 1975. On placing 5th in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, Dean gave up his job as a policeman and Torvill gave up hers as an insurance clerk to skate together full-time.

Torvill and Dean performing in 2011

Torvill and Dean's free programme at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics, performed to the music of Maurice Ravel's Boléro, became world-famous. They received twelve perfect 6.0 marks, one of five occasions they were awarded all perfect scores for artistic impression. It was one of the most popular achievements in the history of British sport, watched by a British television audience of 24 million people.[3][4] 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.[5]

Torvill and Dean turned professional after their 1984 Olympic win and under then existing Olympic Committee rules their professional status made them ineligible to compete in the Olympics again. However, 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 took a seven-year break from skating from 1998–2005.[6] In January 2006, she and Dean began starring in the ITV show Dancing on Ice. Each year, the show runs from January to March and then goes on tour to arenas across the United Kingdom. In November 2011, Torvill said, "the standard each year has gotten higher and higher, which is exciting for us – to think what we can achieve with people who have never skated or are relatively unknown to skating."[6]

Torvill and Dean were ambassadors for the 2012 European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield, England.[7] In February 2014, Torvill and Dean visited Sarajevo for the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics, and recreated their Bolero routine in the same arena where they won the gold.[8]

Competitive results[edit]

Pair skating with Hutchenson[edit]

Event 1971 1972 1973
European Championships 18th
British Championships 2nd 1st 2nd

Ice dancing with Dean[edit]

Professional ice dance routines[edit]


28 April 1983 Torvill was appointed Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham. Torvill was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours list.[9] Torvill and Dean were elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1989.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Torvill currently resides in East Sussex, England, with her husband Phil Christensen and their adopted children Kieran and Jessica.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Torvill was portrayed by Poppy Lee Friar in the 2018 biopic Torvill & Dean.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sports Reference: Jayne Torvill Archived 23 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Piers Morgan's Life Stories, 8 March 2013
  3. ^ "1984: British ice couple score Olympic gold". BBC News. 14 February 1984.
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Sporting Moments – Results". Channel 4.
  5. ^ "Athlete Profile – Torvill". olympic.org. Archived from the original on 30 December 2005.
  6. ^ a b Elfman, Lois (28 November 2011). "Torvill and Dean prepare for return of 'Dancing'". Ice Network. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  7. ^ Williams, Ollie (3 January 2012). "Torvill and Dean could return to help British ice skaters". Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  8. ^ Sito-Sucic, Daria (14 February 2014). "Torvill & Dean relive Bolero 30 years on". Reuters.
  9. ^ "Knighthood for Branson". BBC News Online. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Hall of Fame Members". World Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  11. ^ "What is the real-life story behind ITV's Torvill and Dean biopic?". Radio Times. 25 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Jayne Torvill at Wikimedia Commons