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Ice skating legends Torvill and Dean to visit Belfast on retirement tour

Ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean during a visit to the gymnasium that now stands at the location of the Zetra Olympic Hall ice rink, where they won their gold medals at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, during their visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina to mark the 40th anniversary
Torvill and Dean Ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean during a recent visit to the gymnasium located on the former site of the Zetra Olympic Hall in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they won gold medals at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games (Victoria Jones/PA)

IT WAS 40 years ago today that English ice skating duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean hit the headlines with their now iconic gold medal-winning routine at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

To mark this anniversary, the former England Olympians have returned to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovia, where this morning they announced a special retirement tour - which will include a visit to Belfast.

“That was really a launching pad of then going off to do other things,” Dean told the PA News Agency of the duo’s first Olympic win, which saw them collecting perfect scores for a routine set to Ravel’s Bolero, performed at the Zetra Olympic Hall in Sarajevo.

“Touring around the world, skating in front of hundreds of thousands of people and then Dancing On Ice starting up because of winning the Olympics.”

Torvill and Dean turned professional after their Bolero performance, but later competed in the 1994 Winter Olympics, where they won bronze before retiring from competition. They later branched out into touring, coaching and choreography, before appearing on the ITV hit Dancing On Ice from 2006 until 2014, later becoming head judges on the show when it was revived in 2018.

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The duo will now retire from dancing together following their 2025 tour, Torvill & Dean: Our Last Dance, which will run from April 12 to May 11 with shows in London, Belfast, Newcastle and Glasgow.

The tour will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of their ice skating partnership.

The poster art for Torvill and Dean's 2025 Belfast show
Torvill and Dean The ice skating duo will visit Belfast on their farewell tour next year

Reflecting on the decision to retire, Dean said: “I think there comes a time when you know.

“We’re not spring chickens anymore, but we’re still able to do it to a certain degree that we feel good about it - but that will go.

“So I think this is the right time for us to be able to do that and go and skate and do some of the old routines, be very nostalgic, but then do some new fun, upbeat dances with friends of ours from the skating world and from Dancing On Ice.

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean currently are on the judging panel of TV show Dancing On Ice
Dancing On Ice 2023 Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean (Jonathan Brady/PA)

“We’re looking at it as a celebration. We’ll have a sense of pride as well, I think, of what we’ve done and still been able to do over the years, bringing competitive skating and competitions and then entertainment through the TV screen.

“I think we’ll get reflective and look at it not in a sad way, but in a happy way.”

The pair will bring their retirement tour to Belfast on April 15 and 16. Tickets are on sale now via ticketmaster.ie.

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