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Career highs, secret ambitions, and a love for the stage

l In 1980, Robin Cousins won Winter Olympic gold in the men's figure skating competition.

At the time, he didn't realise he'd come first. His brother Nick had to find him backstage and give him the news. Cousins has never watched the film of his own winning performance. "I'm just not interested," he says. "I have my own memory of how the night played out. I don't want that memory to be killed by seeing it - and seeing it as different to that memory."

l When he first started skating, at the age nine, he was told he would never make it. He was too tall, too impetuous and his feet were too big - plus he didn't have his own skates. By 14, he was Britain's junior champion and he made his international debut that year.

l On ice, Cousins had the covetable ability to spin in both directions. But training and performing takes it toll. Even before the 1980 Olympics, he had undergone major surgery on both his left and right knees.

He has had eight operations in total, including a knee replacement in his fifties.

l Though Cousins's first claim to fame was a medal-winning skater, his secret ambition was to be a dancer. He trained in ice dance, as well as figure skating.

When he retired from competitive skating, he combined appearances in spectacular ice shows with a stage career that included playing Munkustrap in Cats, and Frank N Furter in The Rocky Horror Show in the West End. He has also been in pantomime.

l Cousins has choreographed several ice shows over the past three decades, including spectaculars for his own company. However, he has also brought his artistic talents to other sports, including working with the British synchronized swimming team.

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