Where Are They Now?: Robin Cousins

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TO SOME, the story of Robin Cousins may merely confirm how ice skating blurs the distinction between sport and show business. The 1980 individual Olympic champion has just completed a three-month run with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats, at the Liverpool Empire, following four months in his home town, Bristol.

'I wanted to dance before I could skate,' he says. 'I wanted to be Gene Kelly, so this has been almost like a childhood fantasy. I live out of a suitcase but it has been a wonderful experience and I plan on doing more.'

At 37 he still skates, but was not tempted to return to Olympic competition. 'The technical advances have been outrageous. I'm content to watch - in awe.' Nevertheless, he finished second in the world professional championships last December. He will watch the Lillehammer events with the BBC commentary team.

Cousins, whose father kept goal for Millwall, moved to the United States in the mid-1980s and became artistic director of an international training centre in California, where he retains an advisory position. He has worked extensively for Aids charities, following the death of his friend Robin McCall, the former Canadian champion, and his work choreographing a movie for Paul Michael Glaser, the actor / director who lost a daughter to the disease after his wife became HIV positive through a blood transfusion.

'I try to do what I can, to help raise awareness.' Next month, in Bristol, he is starring in a skating gala for the child cancer charity CLICT, of which he is a trustee.

(Photograph omitted)