Robin Cousins

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Robin Cousins
Robin Cousins 1980 Paraguay stamp 2.jpg
Personal information
Country represented United Kingdom
Born (1957-08-17) 17 August 1957 (age 63)
Bristol, England
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Former coach Carlo Fassi
Skating club Queen's Ice Dance Club
Retired 1980

Robin Cousins (born 17 August 1957) is a British former competitive figure skater. He is the 1980 Olympic champion, the 1980 European champion, a three-time (1978, 1979 & 1980) World medalist and four-time (1977, 1978, 1979 & 1980) British national champion. He later starred in ice shows and also produced his own. He has also appeared in theatre productions, including in the West End, and has commentated on figure skating events for the BBC. Since 2006 he has been on the panel of judges on ITV's Dancing on Ice and takes the position of head judge.

Personal life

Robin Cousins was born in Bristol to Jo, a secretary, and Fred, a civil servant,[2] who was earlier a goalkeeper for Millwall.[1] Cousins left school at age 16 to focus on skating.[2] After moving to London, he found a job stacking shelves at a department store.[2]

Cousins lives in Brighton.[3]

Competitive skating career

Robin Cousins on a 1980 Paraguay stamp

Cousins first stepped onto the ice at age nine at Westover Road Ice Rink while on holiday in Bournemouth.[2][4] Having enjoyed the experience, he requested lessons for Christmas a year and a half later.[2] He won his first national title in 1969 at the age of twelve on the novice level.[5] By age fourteen, he was Britain's junior champion, and he made his international debut that same year.

As a young skater, Cousins also trained in ice dancing at the same time as singles, his first coach being a dancer, Ms Pamela Davies.[5] He was later coached by Carlo Fassi.[6] Cousins is able to spin in both directions.[5]

Cousins represented the United Kingdom as an amateur skater for eight years, winning the national senior Championships for four consecutive years. At the 1977 World Championships, his left knee cartilage ripped and locked in place.[2][5] By 1980, he had undergone major surgery on both his left and right knees.[5] He has had eight operations in total, including a knee replacement in his fifties.[2]

Cousins won the free skating portion of the World Championships three times, 1978 through 1980. He won silver medals at the World Championships in 1979 and 1980. He reached the pinnacle of his amateur ice skating career by winning the European Championships gold medal, and also winning the Winter Olympic Games gold medal in Lake Placid, New York, in 1980.

Cousins followed this with a successful career as a professional ice skater. He starred in such skating shows as Holiday on Ice and Ice Capades,[5] and he was a regular in the World Professional Championships. He hit both the longest axel jump and longest back flip on figure skates in Guinness World Records, reaching 5.81 m (19 ft 1 in) and 5.48 m (18 ft) on 16 November 1983.[7]

Later career

In 1983, Cousins formed his own ice skating performance company, which toured the world with the programs Electric Ice and Ice Majesty. He has starred in, produced, directed, and/or choreographed many international TV ice shows, including The Nutcracker: A Fantasy on Ice, Sleeping Beauty on Ice, The Wizard of Oz on Ice, Toy Story on Ice, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express on Ice, Holiday on Ice, and the movie The Cutting Edge. Over several years, Cousins has been a regular guest presenter and commentator for BBC Sport, for the European and World Figure Skating Championships and the Winter Olympics.[8] He appeared as the head judge on the show Dancing on Ice in each series since 2006.

Cousins has performed on stage. He played the Prince in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Munkustrap in Cats, and Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show in the West End. He has also performed pantomime, playing Jack Frost in Santa Clause and the Return of Jack Frost at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton. Prior to this he played the Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

Cousins was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1980 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in his home city of Bristol.[9] On 10 March 2012 Cousins appeared in the gameshow All Star Family Fortunes. He appeared on Tipping Point (game show) in August 2013.

Cousins has also worked with the British synchronized swimming team.[10] In 2005, he was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame.

Charity work

Cousins is a significant patron of the Meningitis UK organization and the Starr Trust children's charity in Brighton.[11]


Season Short program Free skating Exhibition

  • Where Do I Go? from Hair
  • Classical exhibition
  • The Railway Children
  • Disco exhibition number

  • The Railway Children
  • Enter the Greeks


Amateur career

Event 1972–73 1973–74 1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80
Olympics 10th 1st
Worlds 10th 9th WD 3rd 2nd 2nd
Europeans 15th 11th 11th 6th 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st
Skate Canada 2nd 1st
NHK Trophy 1st
St. Gervais 1st
British Champ. 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
WD = Withdrew

Professional career

Event/Season 1980 1981 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1997
World Professional Champ. 1st* 2nd* 1st 2nd 1st 4th 2nd 3rd 2nd
Challenge of Champions 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 2nd 3rd
World Cup of Skating 1st
World Team Champ. 3rd*
Legends Champ. 2nd
Canadian Pro Champ. 4th
Asterisk indicates results from team competitions


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Robin Cousins".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Walker, Ruth (4 January 2014). "A lesson from Dancing on Ice's Robin Cousins". Scotsman.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Interview with Robin Cousins". Sussex Life. 29 December 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lowder Kimball, Martha (1998). Robin Cousins. Baltimore: Gateway Press. ISBN 0-9662502-0-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "Cousins Continues to Entertain". GoldenSkate. 6 December 2003. Retrieved 12 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Tarasova, T. A. (1985). "Выдающиеся тренеры". Chetyrye Vremeni Goda (in русский). Moscow: Sov. Rossia. p. 176.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Mochan, Amanda (5 February 2014). "2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: A record tour around the figure skating world". Guinness World Records. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Robin Cousins". BBC Sport. 15 January 2002.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Robin COUSINS (1957–)". Big Red Book.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Magnay, Jacquelin (8 February 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: former skating gold medallist Robin Cousins gives synchronised swimmers a lift". Retrieved 9 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Cousin's Official Site

External links


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sebastian Coe
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by
Ian Botham