Robin Cousins showing a magnificent Russian split at the Arosa rink, Richmond,
not long before he won his Olympic gold medal
That December, as British champion and looking forward to competing at world level as a worthy successor to Curry, Cousins tore a knee cartilage and had to have an operation. Determined not to lose that season because of the injury, he devised with his family a special apparatus to exercise the affected muscles and learned to do his required elements on his other leg. He was bitterly hurt by talk that he just wanted to go for the trip to the World Championships in Tokyo and would pull out of the event immediately he got there. Robin was lying sixth as he went into the free skating, determined not to quit in spite of agonising pain. However, it was obvious halfway through his routine that his knee had gone completely and, to his great distress, he had to abandon his efforts.
Gladys Hogg does not travel by plane, and so Cousins was looked after in Japan by Fassi and his wife, Christa. As a result he decided to follow Currys example and train in Denver with them. He adapted to his new life extremely well. There were other boys at the rink of comparable ability, including Scott Hamilton who was to win his first World Championship in 1981, and their efforts kept Cousins on his toes and made it easier to get through the daily grind. In the 1978 World Championship he skated magnificently, winning a bronze medal in what was practically a three-way tie for the title. The following year he was second. Everyone acclaimed him as favourite for the Olympic gold.
The media interest and demands on his time became overwhelming. After he had agreed to take part in the Ennia Cup that November, the NSA insisted he give an exhibition at the British ice dance championship - a bait that persuaded television to cover this event for the first time in many years.