SWAPPING SKIS FOR SKATES
Out of the snow and his comfort zone, Graham Bell is taking part in Dancing On Ice, 2021. But the cross-over sport of skating will create the challenge of cross-over legs for the former Olympic skier. And then there's dancing...
What persuaded you to take part in Dancing on Ice 2021?
The challenge of learning a new sport with professional coaching, that would push me outside my comfort zone. Teaming up with a dance partner and working together to produce the best possible performance.
How much ice-skating and/or dancing experience do you have?
I skated a little bit as a kid, when we were skiing in Scotland and the mountain was shut through bad weather, skating was a good cross-over sport. I have zero dance experience.
What skill(s) from skiing do you think will help you in the competition?
Skiing and skating share some similar skill sets, like edge control, gliding and balance, but similarities end there. Once you start crossing your legs over each other and dancing to music, that is when things will get tough for me.
What worries you most about dancing on ice?
The dancing. I have as much grace as a boiled potato. I also fear dropping my partner, in fact I don’t know how the female pros do it. I would not let a complete amateur lift me above their head.
How do you feel about being back competing? Are you in it to win it?
I am very competitive and have taken on some pretty tough individual challenges since I retired from Olympic competition, but bizarrely I am not going into this with a goal of winning the competition. Dancing on Ice is too far removed from the challenges I would normally take on, I will not be able to muscle it out, or push myself to the finish line, this is all about producing a performance. I am obviously going to work hard, but I’m not in this to win it, I just want to see what skills I can learn and what kind of a performance we can produce as a team.
Will you also be presenting Ski Sunday in 2021?
At the moment I am not sure how Ski Sunday will be produced in the unfolding Coronavirus pandemic. I have been working on Ski Sunday since 2000, as a commentator, reporter and presenter, and very much hope to continue working on the programme either in the 2021 season or in the following 2022 Beijing Olympic year.
You once told Style Altitude that essentially skiing is about 'enjoying the mountains and the most important thing to wear on the slopes is a smile'. So will you be wearing a smile for Dancing on Ice?
I have decided to embrace the glitz and glamour of Dancing on Ice 100 percent, so will be wearing the costumes, sparkles, bling, feathers, make-up and a big smile.