TORVILL & DEAN by John Hennessy


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Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean are Great Britain's hope for an ice dancing gold medal at the 1984 Olympics; this, mostly in British fanzine gush, is their story thus far. (They are now in their mid-twenties.) Hennessy begins with the pair's March 1983 triumph at Helsinki, where they won the world ice dance championship for the third consecutive time. He then returns to their beginnings--Jayne as a solo and pairs figure skater, Chris in ice dancing with other partners--and traces their joint career to the present. Skating together since their late teens, the two have made a considerable mark on the sport-previously dominated by Soviet couples--with innovative choreography set to unusual musical arrangements. (Excerpts from the musical Mack and Mabel, and an arrangement of Barnum orchestrated specially for them, are among the pieces for which they are best known.) The trials-and-tribulations recorded here--the need for monetary support, the lack of training facilities--will be familiar to serious amateur athletes in any sport anywhere. Hennessy writes as an ardent fan and supporter: ""They ought to have been treated with kid gloves; they ought not to have been herded around like unhappy tourists on a cheap tour. But they were."" Lengthy quotes featuring Torvill and Dean's more rigorous analysis of their progress provide welcome relief. Timely ephemera--that does serve to introduce a sport and stars largely unknown to American audiences.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's