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Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 21:38 GMT
Cousins hangs up his skates

Robin Cousins Flawless triple jumps were Cousins' speciality

Former Olympic champion Robin Cousins has retired from professional skating.

The 42-year-old, who won the Olympic and European titles in 1980, is to take up a post behind the scenes as a producer.

The Bristol-born star appeared for a final time on Sunday with Holiday on Ice, the company with which he made his professional debut 20 years ago, in his home town of Brighton.

I want to be able to walk away and still feel a passion rather than going out there and have people thinking, oh dear
Robin Cousins
After the performance, he said: "It was wonderful. I had a great time and was quite relaxed.

"I don't think I could have had a more perfect send-off. I was thrilled with the reaction from the audience."

The audience was filled with famous names, including well-known skating partnership Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

TV commentator Barry Davies, who covered many of Cousins's performances, was also at the Brighton Centre, with Sue Barker, Hollywood actor Patrick Bergin and TV celebrities including Dale Winton and Dora Bryan.

Cousins said: "At some point you have to say enough is enough.

I'm 42 but I have the body of a 49-year-old
Robin Cousins
"Something has to give. I cannot get on the ice now without the physio looking at me first. Something always has to be taken care of.

"I still feel I am in great shape. I have seen a couple of my performances and I know I can still do it.

Science fiction

"I want to be able to walk away and still feel a passion rather than going out there and have people thinking, oh dear.

"Looking at figure skating today, the junior ladies are doing things in training that we always thought were science fiction.

"I'm 42 but I have the body of a 49-year-old. The back and knees have suffered.

"I am happy to be leaving. There will be no comebacks."

Perfect sixes

In 1976 Cousins established his technical and artistic reputation with his Olympic programme including five triple jumps - a feat never before witnessed on the competition circuit.

He took his first medal in 1977, a bronze in the European Championships, but a knee operation forced a painful withdrawal from the World Championships later that year.

In 1980, as well as winning the Olympic and European golds, he earned three perfect six scores in the World Championships in Dortmund, capturing silver overall to cap his amateur career.

In 1986 he perfected a unique layout back-flip before his knee stopped him performing his trademark triple jumps in 1988

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