WITH the Winter Olympics just underway in Turin, Sports Editor MARTIN JARRED reflects on five warming British performances.

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ICE dancers supreme Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill were the perfect couple.

Putting aside the debate about the validity of ice dance as a sport, there can be no doubt that the pair hold a special place in the hearts of the British public.

They are back on screen now as tutors to personalities taking part in television's 'Dancing on Ice'. Those celebs don't know how lucky they are to get advice from the best in the business.

Torvill and Dean gripped the nation on Valentine's Day 1984 at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics.

Their brilliant interpretation of Ravel's Bolero drew a 6.0 for artistic impression from each of the nine judges and their total of 12 sixes for the entire competition broke all records.

More than 24 million people - I was one of them - watched the perfect pair skate their way into immortality.

The television news was delayed and the House of Commons stopped in the middle of a debate to watch the Nottingham couple glide through their iconic interpretation.

Former policeman Dean and Torvill, who used to work as a clerk in an insurance office, went to Sarajevo as hot favourites after gaining a perfect six from all the judges for their Barnum routine at the previous year's world championships in Helsinki, Canada.

Britain expected them to deliver again in Sarajevo but the nation seemed under-prepared and overwhelmed by Bolero. The post-routine reaction as was astonishing. Newspapers splashed stories left, right and centre about the performance which was repeated endlessly on TV.

Amazingly, just four weeks later, in Ottawa, they bettered their Olympic score with a total of 13 sixes to take their fourth world crown.

Torvill and Dean's success gave Britain their third gold medal in successive Olympics.

Birmingham-born John Curry whizzed to glory in the men's figure skating event in 1976 at Innsbruck, becoming Britain's first medallist since Jeanette Altwegg struck gold in the women's event in the 1952 Oslo Games.

Graceful and athletic, Curry outclassed the opposition in Austria and won easily, franking his form by winning the World Championship at Gothenburg before turning professional.

Following in Curry's blades four years later was Robin Cousins, a student from Bristol, whose father had played in goal for Millwall.

While Curry destroyed the opposition, Curry needed nerves of steel in his free skating display at Lake Placid in the USA, where he just edged out East Germany's Jan Hoffman to take gold.

Nerves were also shredded throughout living rooms late at night when Great Britain's women's curlers - all of them from Scotland - snatched a thrilling 4-3 win in the final against Switzerland in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Skipper Rhona Martin needed to knock out a Swiss counting stone with the last play of the final on the Ogden Ice Sheet and pull it off as her own stone finished up close to the centre of the rink.

It gave GB their first gold medal since Torvill and Dean and saw Glasgow mother-of-two Martin and her team-mates Fiona MacDonald, Margaret Morton, Janice Rankin and Debbie Knox became overnight heroines.

High-speed heroics were performed by Robin Dixon and Tony Nash as they hurtled to gold in the two-man bobsleigh event in Igls, Austria 42 years ago.

I remember being so inspired by the grainy black and white television pictures of the daring duo that I actually made a model bobsleigh from my Meccano set.

They were dashing Brits of the stiff upper lip old school.

Brake-man Dixon, the heir of Lord Glentoran, was educated at Eton, while driver Nash was the director of a family engineering firm in Buckinghamshire.

As Britain does not have a single bobsleigh run their achievement was even more remarkable.

They were lying second to the Canadians on the opening run, moved in front on the second but then lost the lead to Italy before a hair-raising final run gave them gold by 12/100ths of a second.

It may not have been perfect, but, boy it was exciting.

Updated: 10:04 Tuesday, February 14, 2006