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14 February  
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1984: British ice couple score Olympic gold
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have been crowned the Olympic ice skating champions after scooping gold in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

More than 24 million people watched the British couple score maximum points at the Zetra Stadium for their slow, sensuous free dance performance of Ravel's Bolero.

It was an overwhelming St Valentine's Day victory for the duo in an event traditionally dominated by Soviet skaters.

The couple from Nottingham received a standing ovation from the 8,500 spectators in the arena and flowers rained onto the ice after they completed their stirring four-minute performance.

They scored 12 out of 18 possible sixes for their free dance and the maximum possible of nine sixes for artistic impression.

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
Christopher Dean
Torvill smiled as the gold medal was hung around her neck and Dean had to fight back tears as he stood on the Olympic podium to receive his award.

"Tonight we reached the pinnacle. I don't remember the performance at all. It just happened," Dean said.

"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."

Torvill added: "I just don't believe it. I don't think we'll get to bed tonight at all. I just want to say hello and thank the people of Nottingham."

Natalya Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin, from the Soviet Union took the silver medal while the American skaters Judy Blumberg and Michael Seibert picked up the bronze.

Princess Anne, who has been in the front row for all their Olympic performances, congratulated the pair on their victory.

The Queen also sent a telegramme commending the British couple on their outstanding achievement.

Throughout the Olympics they have picked up three sixes for the first time in the tournament's history and another four for their Original Set Pattern Dance which, with their gold finish, gives them a career total of 107 perfect marks, more than any previous skaters.

Torvill and Dean now have only their world championship to defend before starting a lucrative professional career.

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Torvill and Dean at Sarajevo Winter Olympics
Millions of people worldwide watched Torvill and Dean's dazzling performance


In Context
Torvill and Dean's Olympic gold was followed up with a record-breaking maximum points in the world figure-skating championship shortly after.

It was their fourth world title in their amateur career.

In 1984 they were also crowned BBC Sports Personality Of The Year.

The duo went on to win the European Championships in 1994 and they made a dramatic return to the Olympic stage in Lillehammer, Norway in that same year, picking up a bronze medal.

They performed together for the last time on the Canadian Stars Ice tour in 1998 before they announced their retirement from a 23-year partnership.

A year later Torvill and Dean were awarded an OBE.

The pair were reunited on ice in 2006 when they took part in a celebrity show for ITV, Dancing on Ice, where they provided commentary and coaching for the contestants.

Stories From 14 Feb


 
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