Torvill and Dean began skating together in 1975. The pair were first coached by Janet Sawbridge, but in 1978 Betty Callaway became their coach.
In their first few years together, they experienced varying degrees of success. Beginning in 1980, they started a string of 14 straight competitions in which they won the gold, including three European Championships, four World Championships and the 1984 Olympic Winter Games.
Torvill and Dean's free dance at the Sarajevo Olympics, performed to the music of Maurice Ravel's Boléro
, is one of the most famous performances in the history of the sport. They received nine 6.0 marks for artistic impression, the highest possible score and the only time an all-perfect score was achieved.
Torvill and Dean turned professional after the 1984 Olympics. In 1993, the International Skating Union relaxed its rules for professional skaters, which allowed the team to participate in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, France, where they won a bronze medal.
Torvill and Dean were elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1989.