Pining for a sporting fix? Celebrate these Great British Olympic moments

Torvill and Dean recently said they would love to revisit the 1984 Olympics and their infamous Boléro routine (Getty Images)

There’s an Olympic-sized hole in our summer calendar this year with the cancellation of the Tokyo games, so what better time to look back over some of the most memorable moments from past Olympic games.

Appearing on White Wine Question Time earlier this week, Olympic winners Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean recalled how magical it was to win gold for Great Britain at the Oly mpics in 1984.

“My magic moment is the Olympics and Boléro, because we worked our life to that point and we didn't know what was after that,” Dean told Kate.

READ MORE: A look back to Torvill and Dean’s golden moment in Sarajevo

“In retrospect, I would like to go back and look at that moment. I can look back on video… For us, that was our day and to be able to go back – because we were so focused so in the zone and so you didn't have necessarily the opportunity to take in what's happening around you – would be everything.”

Their routine to Ravel’s Boléro with that infamous beginning, where the pair where kneeling on the ice, was actually borne out of necessity. The whole routine was four minutes 28 seconds, but technically Torvill and Dean were only allowed to have their blades on the ice for four minutes.

Dean said: “That opening position – those iconic pictures that were taken of the time that people obviously refer back to whenever they do that – it's that moment, but out of necessity, that's where that came from.”

Christopher and Jayne had the chance to go back to Sarajevo to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Olympic victory, which was an amazing moment for them both.

“We went back to the venue, which had been bombed during the war,” explained Dean. “In actual fact, going back I've seen things for the first time that I didn't remember. 

READ MORE: This 1984 ice dance is still one of the most watched events in British TV history

“One of the real fascinating things was that one of the people that was looking after us, she was 36, but she had been the flower girl on the day that went to pick up flowers just before we skated.”

Obviously, Torvill and Dean aren’t our only GB champions who have created some amazing moments, take a trip back down memory lane at these sporting gems.

Linford Christie winning the 100m at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics

At the previous Olympics in Seoul where Team GB only won silver at the 100m, Christie not only won gold, but also became the oldest Olympic 100m champion at the ripe old age of 32.

Linford Christie winning gold at the 100m during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (Getty Images)

Steve Redgrave wins his fifth gold medal at the 2000 Sydney games

After winning a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic games, Redgrave vowed never to go near a rowing boat again, however, he found himself back in one alongside Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell and Tim Foster in the coxless four at the 2000 Olympics.

READ MORE: Sir Steve Redgrave’s Olympic success stands on its own

The edge-of-the-seat race saw Team GB beat the Italy team by just 0.38 of a second and Redgrave won his fifth gold. He is still the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and for a short time was also the most successful British Olympian of all time.

Chris Hoy becomes the most successful British Olympian at the London 2012 games

Not only did Hoy win two golds at the 2012 games, but it was his sixth gold medal overall, having won in Beijing and Athens in previous years, which meant he overtook Redgrave to become the most successful British Olympian ever.

The cyclist, who has now swapped a bike for a car in the world of motorsport, also smashed the world record for the men's team sprint alongside team-mates Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes.

Cyclist Chris Hoy is currently the most successful British Olympian of all time (Getty Images)

Team GB win gold for curling at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City

Scoring Britain’s first gold in the Winter Olympics since Torvill and Dean goes to the Team GB curling team. The sport, which had only been included in the Olympics since 1998, suddenly became a must watch as skip Rhona Martin and her team beat Switzerland with their very last throw.

A whopping 5.7 million people tuned in to watch the final and the team secured our first winter gold for 18 years!

Jessica Ennis sets the world heptathlon record at the 2012 London Olympics

Heptathlete Ennis was heartbroken when a stress fracture in her right foot meant she had to pull out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

READ MORE: Jess Ennis-Hill tells Sky News pregnancy was the 'toughest time" of her life

Just four years later at the London Olympics, things couldn’t be any different when on Super Saturday Ennis not only took the gold medal in the heptathlon, but also set a world heptathlon record in the 100-metre hurdles and set a new personal best with 6955 points. 

Jessica Ennis set the world heptathlon record and won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 (Getty Images)

Derek Redmond finishing the 400m semi-final, despite snapping his hamstring, in Barcelona's 1992 Olympics

Derek Redmond might not be a household name like Mo Farrah or Seb Coe, but his performance at the Barcelona games is the definition of a true Olympian. Dodged by injury throughout his career, Redmond had undergone surgery on his achilles heel just month before the games began.

As a forerunner to win the 400m, Redmond was powering through the race when suddenly his hamstring snapped, just 250m from the end, and he ground to a sudden halt. As he saw the medics approach him, he decided he would not give up and started to hobble to the finish line.

READ MORE: Where are they now? Derek Redmond

While in the process of going round the track, his dad battled through security to literally lift his son up as he aimed to reach the end. Not surprisingly, the 65,000 strong crowd gave him a standing ovation when he finally hit the finish line.

While his dreams of running for his country were in tatters, Redmond didn’t give up on sport and went to play professional basketball for the Birmingham Bullets and the video of his Olympic triumph was used in a Visa ad.


Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards becomes the first Team GB ski jumper at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics

In 1988, Britain had not been represented in the Winter Olympics for ski jumping for 60 years – and then along came Edwards. An amateur skier, Eddie the Eagle took part in speed skiing and held the stunt jumping world record for jumping over 6 buses.

Sadly, Edwards finished last in the 70m and 90m events, however, he became a media sensation as the plucky underdog and his life story was even turned into a movie in 2016, with Taron Egerton portraying him on the big screen.

READ MORE: Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards Says Film About Him Is '90 Percent Made Up'

After this Olympics, the rules were changed – known as the ‘Eddie the Eagle Rule’ – which not only requires all Olympic hopefuls to compete in international events beforehand, but also to be placed in the top 30% or the top 50 competitors. 

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards was the plucky underdog at the Winter Olympics in 1998 (Getty Images)

Listen to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean talk about their Olympic triumph, along with embarrassing costume failures and how they’re spending lockdown in the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.