'It is time': Torvill and Dean return to Sarajevo as they announce retirement from skating

On the 40th anniversary of their iconic performance to Ravel's Bolero at the 1984 Winter Olympics, the pair have announced they are hanging up their skates

Legendary figure skaters, and stars of ITV’s Dancing on Ice, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, will dance together for the last time after a farewell tour next year.

They announced their retirement on a return visit to Sarajevo, where they won the Olympic gold medal for their iconic dance to Revel’s "Bolero" exactly forty years ago.

Dean told ITV News “it is time” to stop after a partnership that has endured for half a century.

They will continue to act as judges on Dancing on Ice, but the 28-date tour in spring 2025 will be the final opportunity for fans to see them perform as a duo.

“Fifty is a good number,” said Torvill. “You wouldn’t want to stop after 48, or 51.”

Asked about the secret of their longevity as a partnership, which has lasted longer than many married couples, Dean quipped: “Don’t get married!”

“We asked ourselves, ‘how many duos do you know that have been together that long and are still together?’” he said. “And we couldn’t come up with any.”

The pair have travelled to the exact spot in Sarajevo where their 1984 Olympic gold catapulted them to fame, securing one of the most memorable moments in British sporting history.

A TV audience of 24 million in the UK alone watched their "Bolero", which redefined competitive figure skating for its creativity.

“It’s so memorable, because it was the launching pad for our career,” said Dean, walking into the city’s rebuilt Olympic Hall. The original was destroyed during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

Nottingham's Torvill and Dean during their gold medal-winning performance in 1984 Credit: PA

“We were sort of in a trance and skating,” he said. “It was only at the end when we finished that we came back to reality, with all the applause from the audience.

“Bolero will forever be our tune.”

The trip has also been an opportunity to reflect on the conflict and genocide in the country, which claimed more than 100,000 lives.

“We just remember lots of happiness. That was our personal experience,” said Torvill. “So it was hard for us to imagine. It was so sad to hear of what happened following that.”

They have spent some of their week teaching at a skating school close to the site of their Olympic triumph, bringing together children from communities that were divided by the conflict.

Some previously had no access to a rink and were taking to the ice for the first time.

Elma Krasny, who at the age of six presented Torvill and Dean with flowers following their 1984 performance, told ITV News that ‘Bolero’ had provided people in Sarajevo with hope during the war.

She said that as a teenager, she risked sniper fire every day to buy groceries.

“A lot of people found strength and motivation to go through the war because of the lovely memories that we had during the Olympics,” she said.

On Torvill and Dean, Elma said, “Sarajevo just loves them. They’re such a beautiful part of our lives.”

Their visit concludes with a short performance of ‘Bolero’ featuring around 20 local skaters alongside the duo at the Sarajevo Open figure skating competition.

Tickets for Torvill and Dean: Our Last Dance’ go on sale on Wednesday, February 14.

It will begin at Wembley on April 12, 2025 and tour nine British cities, including the pair’s home city of Nottingham, before they perform their last routine in Glasgow in May.

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