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Olympic moments to remember: Torvill, Dean in 1984

With one week remaining until the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, Figure Skaters Online is highlighting Olympic moments to remember from the sport of figure skating.

On Feb. 14 at the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean of Great Britain performed a legendary free dance to Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero”. They scored the maximum nine perfect 6.0 scores for artistic impression as well as three for technical merit, bring them to 12 out of 18 perfect marks, which helped them secure their Olympic gold medal.

“Tonight we reached the pinnacle. I don’t remember the performance at all. It just happened,” Dean said after the medal ceremony. “But I think it was the most emotional performance we have ever given. What just happened out there – getting the medals – that is what we’ve worked for so hard for so long.”

Despite having a 4 minute and 10 second limit on the free dance, Torvill and Dean’s innovative choreography allowed them to perform to “Bolero” for 4 minutes and 28 seconds, as they only moved their bodies and did not skate to the music for the first 18-seconds. Because of that, the program is viewed as a turning point in the sport of ice dance, making way for more creative and imaginative programs.

Torvill and Dean were the only couple from outside of the Soviet Union or Russia to win the ice dancing event at the Olympics until 2002 when France’s Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat won. Anissina is actually Russian, however, having been born in Moscow to a Soviet hockey star and a pair skater. Anissina previously competed for the Soviet Union before teaming up with Peizerat for France in 1993.

At the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, two American couples have an excellent chance to become the first North American team to win the Olympic gold: 2006 Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto of the United States, the five-time U.S. Champions, and the 2009 Grand Prix Final Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Champions. They are competing in Vancouver along with reigning U.S. bronze medalists Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates.

Watch  Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s free dance


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