He was treated in hospital with a saline drip to counter dehydration caused by a gastric flu virus, and released after two days, missing the celebration of their and Robin Cousins victories.
Jayne and Chris routine was well received by the judges but criticised in other quarters. Jayne had brought over some novel moves from her pair-skating days, and they did a version of a death spiral and of a cartwheel that many thought were not in keeping with traditional ice dancing. Their innovations still meet with some criticism. Even their splendid Barnum free dance, which gained for them a third World title in 1983, has been decried as mere pantomime, in spite of the judges unhesitating approval.
In St Gervais Chris had just turned eighteen and Jayne was a few months older. Their performance served notice to the skating world that a new power was about to emerge. That November, in the British senior championship, they gained third place in the original set pattern (OSP) division but were pipped for the bronze overall by a 4 - 5 decision. It was an impressive debut in the national competition and observers were particularly struck by the speed with which they tossed off their footwork. The next summer they gained another international win, this time in Oberstdorf, demonstrating an extremely flamboyant Paso Doble OSP.
Mack and Mabel Routine
Barnum Routine
(This rhythm was chosen for the 1984 Olympic seasons OSP.) In 1977 Chris showed his understanding of the intent of this dance, swirling Jayne around him as if she were his cape and had no will of her own.
In the 1977 British senior championship they gained third place and selection for the European and World Championship teams for Strasbourg and Ottawa. Janet Sawbridge, in an advanced stage of pregnancy, accompanied them to France, to see them placed a creditable ninth, but could not be with them in Canada. There, in a lift, they spoke their first words to Betty Callaway who was to become a major factor in their path to the top. She trains only one, or at the most two, couples at a time, and was teaching Kristina Regoeczy and Andras Sallay of Hungary who were then thinking of retiring. Fortunately they changed their minds and went on to become the 1980 World champions, the first non-Russians to hold this title since 1969. By then Betty Callaway had committed herself to training Jayne and Chris, and so the Hungarians moved into a flat in Nottingham and spent most of the year there.
BBC Book of Skating Index.
Torvill and Dean
Part 4