Dancing On Ice Olympic Special: Robin Cousins says his 1980′s Olympic Gold Medal left him scarred for life!
Cousins, who is due to perform in the special Dancing On Ice to mark the Olympic games tomorrow night, took gold after a breathtaking performance during the 1980′s summer games, but was left with such damage to his knees as a result that he required intense medical attention, and eight operations to correct it.
Despite the painful memories, he has agreed to take part in tomorrow night’s celebratory ice skating extravaganza, which will also feature fellow Olympic medalists, Olga Korbut, Tessa Sanderson and Colin Jackson.
Speaking exclusively to TV Biz, Robin said: “My injuries were kept fairly quiet. I suppose I have always been one of those people who just deals with what’s thrown at me. I was in constant pain then and I am now.
“But I never used it as an excuse. I just had to work out how to perform in a different way. Every surgery removes something from that list of what you are able to do physically.
“So for years I resisted going back on the ice because I was aware of my limitations. But to do it in this year of the London 2012 Olympics, and to step from behind the desk on to the ice and actually deliver what I’ve been yelling at all the Dancing On Ice celebrities for the past seven years, was something I wanted to do.
“I was nervous. There was that sick feeling in the back of my throat, that dry mouth, but just to do something that I love again, for only two minutes, was special.
“People were very gracious, and it was emotional.” In 1974 Robin had his first major op on his right knee to remove some cartilage and was told he might never skate again.
“The physio told me, ‘You’re trying to be a first class athlete on second class knees’.”
Cousins injury came from the 1977 World Championships, after already winning gold at the European Championships earlier that same year, when he had to pull out of the competition, mid-routine, resulting in his first knee operation. He then went to America to see a specialist, Cousins said: “I could have kept going as I was and won more bronze medals. But I didn’t want to be like everybody else.
“I was still jumping 18ft across the ice and 4ft in the air because that’s what made me, ‘me’.” In 1980 he wowed judges at the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, USA, with his daring routine featuring perfect triple twists and won gold.
He said: “There were East Germans and Russians who were more robotically, technically perfect than me, stronger than I could ever be.
“But I loved to get the audience behind me, they’re the ones who’ve paid to see you perform, the judges are just there for free.”
Cousins then made the heartbreaking decision to not enter into anymore Olympics and retire from the sport altogether. He still suffers with his injuries now, and the pain has spread to his back after years of over-compensating for his knee, which may result in him needing yet another corrective operation.
However, he has agreed to take part in tomorrow night’s much-anticipated event, commenting: “I can’t leap and twirl but I can do something that’s very elegant, very simple, but is absolutely me.”
Watch Robin’s amazing 1980 Winter Olympic Free Programme performance in the clip below:
Dancing On Ice Goes Gold can be seen on ITV1 tomorrow at 8pm.