IT’S quite an accolade to be compared to Torvill and Dean. 

The all-time greats, of course, won ice dance gold at the 1984 Olympics and since then, Britain has been searching for their successors. 

We might have found them. 

Lewis Gibson and Lilah Fear will begin their Olympic ice dance campaign today, with the hopes of a nation upon them. 

That they are being talked about in the same breath as Torvill and Dean says much about their potential and as the pair prepare to make their Olympic debut, Gibson, from Prestwick, and his American-born partner, Fear, refuse to be daunted by the comparison. 

“They are such an inspiration and we’re incredibly grateful to be even mentioned in the same sentence as Torvill and Dean,” says 27-year-old Gibson. 

“I love that they’re still so current today – it shows what a legacy they created and just how huge they were. 

“They were real trailblazers and they were so creative and for Lilah and I, that’s something we’re really inspired by. We try to think outside the box in terms of the elements we do and I think that’s something we have in common with them.” 

Gibson and Fear have had the season of their lives leading up to Beijing 2022. 

They finished in seventh place at last year’s World Championships and their most recent result, fifth place at the European Championships, was an indication of, as Gibson describes it, “everything starting to come together”.  

However, it is the Montreal-based pair’s entertaining routines that have been making even more headlines than their results. 

They became firm fan favourites by skating to Madonna’s “Vogue” a couple of seasons ago while in Beijing, the pair will skate to a Kiss medley before performing their free dance to a medley from the Lion King. 

It is a far cry from Gibson’s early foray into sport in the west of Scotland

“As sport went, football was all I ever knew when I was young,” he says.  

“My brother played football and my dad was a youth coach so it was in our family. 

“I’ve been to many an Ayr game to watch when I was younger and my brother played for Kilmarnock youth team so I’d watch them a lot too. 

“I really enjoyed football, but I remember realising I didn’t love it.” 

It is perhaps an unorthodox route into figure skating but it was while watching the television show, “Dancing on Ice” that the trajectory of Gibson’s life changed forever. 

“When I was very young, I’d been to a few public skating sessions at the rink near my house after school, just for fun but then that rink closed and that was it, I didn’t skate for years after that,” he recalls. 

“But then in 2006, I watched Dancing on Ice and that inspired me to pick it up again and have another go.  

“I loved the whole process and that there was always something new and it was very measurable in terms of moving through the levels and I always was very driven to move up to the next stage.  

“I progressed pretty quickly and you get tied into the sport.” 

Gibson’s earliest Olympic memory is from the 2006 Winter Games but it was pairing up with Fear which allowed his own Olympic ambitions to flourish. 

Having begun as a single skater, it was his switch to ice dance where he found his niche. 

The pair have already had a taste of the Olympic experience, as part of Team GB’s Ambition programme four years ago, which allows young athletes to travel to the Games in an attempt to ready them for their own Olympic debut. 

That experience, in Pyeongchang has, admits Gibson, been hugely helpful and so what is left is to make a real impression on the Olympic stage. 

There has, from many experts, been talk of a potential podium place and while the pair do not shy away from Olympic silverware being their ultimate goal, they are keen to play down any grand predictions over the next few days. 

“I can really feel our improvement from competition to competition so we’re both so excited to get started in Beijing and see how we can do,” he says. 

“It feels like things are really falling into place at just the right time but we’re going in open-minded and our main goal is to be happy with our performance. “We’ve been dreaming about this for so long so we really want to soak in the experience. 

We, of course, dream of a medal at some point in our careers so we just need to keep working hard. 

“2026 is in our plans already too. We made decisions this year with 2026 in our thoughts so we want to keep pushing on and improving.”