Jayne Torvill shot to fame in the 80s as one half of supreme skating duo Torvill & Dean. Some of our readers will no doubt be too young to remember their breath-taking performance at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, but their iconic dance to Ravel’s Bolero is forever embedded in the nation’s psyche.
For a country that invents sports but then isn’t very good at them, suddenly we had the opportunity to be rightly proud of two ground-breaking sports people who achieved the highest ever score for a single skating piece. Torvill & Dean absolutely tore the roof off.
Has that performance defined her life, I wondered. “Well, I guess so. It’s like a special friend that’s been with us for 31 years now, and when we won, it was both exciting and a bit frightening at the same time.
“We tried to shake up the format, by starting slowly and building to a crescendo, which wasn’t how ice skating was done then, but then once you’ve done that, once you’ve had that sort of success, it’s hard to know where to go with it.”
Years of competing in skating competitions and other Olympics has meant that both Jayne and Chris (Dean, her skating partner) always needed to be super-fit, but fast forward a few decades and it’s hard to see much difference in Jayne Torvill’s physique.
At 57 she’s a stunning example of what good food and regular exercise can do for you – she seriously looks about 35. Does she exercise every day, I ask her? “Well, mostly. I’ve just come back from France where I haven’t done a great deal,” she laughs, “but most of the time I exercise pretty much every day, so fitness isn’t really an issue, I can take time off.
“I have a personal trainer who I’ve worked with for five years, three times a week and on the other days I’ll do something that relates to whatever I’m training for at the time. So yes, I tend to be pretty fit. I exercise most days.”
The race, which starts and finishes at the East Sussex National Hotel and Golf Course, near Uckfield, offers three route options: the Cool 21-mile route, the more challenging Classic route, which covers 40 miles, and the Champion 68-mile route for experienced riders.
Mother-of-two Jayne, who lives in East Sussex, said “I’ll be tackling the Classic 40-mile route on the day and it looks like it’s going to be a great event. I’ve already been out on the course to see what we can expect and it takes in some fantastic Sussex countryside.”
Jayne, who first hopped on her bike when she tackled a duathlon at Bexhill in 2013, said she ran into Davina at the Chelsea Flower Show last month and said how much she was looking forward to it.
Dancing on Ice hung up its skates last year, so I wondered what Jayne’s plans were now. “Skating is still my job, so for me to do anything else feels strange. Part of my job is to stay in shape. And I like doing the other challenges, like this bike ride.
“A friend of mine got me involved with this but I wanted to help – I developed asthma in the 90s, and I know how important medical research is, like that funded by Action Medical Research. I do have a really exciting project in the pipeline, which I just can’t tell you about though. Something Chris and I are working on.”
I ask her if it’s a TV or live thing, but she’s not to be drawn. “I can’t say – both I think. It will just have to be a mystery for now! But look out for us later in the year.”
To support the charity please go to www.action.org.uk
Jayne’s Diet Tips
We asked her what keeps her fit and healthy…
- I don’t eat red meat – only things with two legs or fish
- Fresh fruit every morning with porridge or yoghurt
- I don’t mix carbs and proteins, it just ends up being stored as fat
- I try and buy organic if I can
- I eat fresh as much as possible – basically my rule is I try and buy things that can go off
- I bought a Nutribullet the other day and I love that – it’s great for fruit that looks a bit iffy!