Browse content similar to The Big Decision. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
There's too many of you on this team
who think you're better than what you are.
Keep on the edge.
No! Back, back, back.
Making it as a champion skater doesn't come easy.
It takes years of practice...
Keep going, keep going, keep going!
One more, then I'll be a very happy coach.
Yeah, yeah. Stop, let's go for it.
Go for it, go for it, go for it!
But, even then, only a few will become tomorrow's...
This is the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.
It's where future Ice Stars work hard to get to the top.
With two rinks, it was built to honour Torvill and Dean,
the city's famous Olympic gold medal winners.
And there are plenty of others who want to follow in their footsteps.
A major competition is just days away,
but figure skater Josh is having trouble landing his jumps.
This is not OK.
It is really frustrating when you do end up falling.
A mystery illness threatens
to leave Maddy's speed skating dream in tatters.
My breathing was really bad on that one -
although I managed to, like, not cough until the last lap,
it was still really, really bad. SHE BREATHES HEAVILY
Like, REALLY bad.
And Adriano finally makes a life-changing decision
about his new ice-dancing partner.
It was difficult because I needed to decide one,
but finally I decided.
At the rink, there have never been enough boys taking up ice dance...
..and Ella and Chloe have struggled to find themselves a partner.
No boys. Literally no boys.
In Nottingham, there's just girls and there's one boy, with Josh,
but he's skating with Ellie.
There's a lot of girls that are looking for partners
because it's not often that a boy comes over to start dance.
But new boy Adriano has come over -
all the way from Italy.
I have a dream. I would like to be in the Olympics
and try to win first, second or third place.
Having had dance try-outs with both Ella and Chloe,
Adriano is now faced with a tough decision -
choosing between the girls.
The best thing about Chloe is spinning.
And Ella, she is very short.
It's a difficult choice for me.
Adriano and I both came to the same decision.
From my perspective, it was who I thought best
in terms of height difference and matching ability.
And, from Adriano's side, it was who he thought he'd best get along with.
So who's the lucky girl, Adriano?
But, finally, I decided to pick...
When I found out that I was going to be partnered with Adriano,
I felt really happy and excited.
From Adriano's side, he got on really well with Ella,
they communicated well on the ice
and it seemed like the best decision.
I was bothered a little bit, but not as much,
because they'll be good together
because they're new and they can learn together.
I felt sorry for Chloe
because I thought she was going to get Adriano,
because she's a better skater than me
and she's been skating longer than me.
Chloe may have missed out on finding a partner,
but it's not going to hold her back.
So it's early morning training as usual.
I'm going to continue doing singles,
but I'm also going to keep my eyes open for partners.
Chloe's friends, solo skaters Lauren and Kershia,
are also on the search for partners.
So I do ice dance, and you can either do solos or couples
and I have done couples in the past, but my partners have all left,
so I'm looking for a new one...
It's hard when you have a skater that talented and that good,
and there's just not the boys out there for her to skate with.
Right, I'll leave you to practise for a little bit now.
Finding someone that is committed
to doing just ice dance is quite hard to find,
but hopefully there is somebody out there that'll be able to...
join in with me, cos it's quite hard
to actually do the dances by yourself.
I'd like to think that, in the future,
they'll be able to find partners
because I know how badly they want it, and I really want that for them.
When practice is over, the girls head to the local cafe
for a well-earned breakfast
and a chat about their favourite subject...
-I don't really have an ideal partner.
-Go on, then.
-I need a tall one.
-A tall one!
I think I probably just... He'll be strong,
because he can't, like, be dropping me or I will cry.
Yeah, so, um... not too tall! Um, strong.
I think he'll be kind.
The girls have got something that might help Chloe
find her perfect partner -
a dancing-partner website that brings solo skaters together.
Shall we search for some guys that are actually in your qualities,
-so like Novice and stuff?
-Sorry, what am I doing?
There you go.
-You've got one.
-We have one.
-And he's from Latvia.
I think you need to make a biography for this.
Like, it is so easy to make it.
Cos then you can get in contact with people like him,
and it makes such a difference.
Inspired by Lauren and Kershia's advice,
Chloe heads home to talk with her mum,
and set up a profile of her own.
But not everyone's looking for a partner.
One boy who's definitely not
is British figure skating champion Josh.
I started skating about seven years ago.
I'm able to express myself in the way,
maybe, I wouldn't be able to do in a different sport
and I think, without skating,
I don't really think I'd know what to do with myself, so...!
Josh has moved up an age category this year,
from Novice to Juniors, and is tipped for the Olympics in 2018.
I would say I do set myself very high standards.
Obviously, not everyone aspires to be an Olympic champion -
that's something I really want to be.
I know not a lot of people tend to set goals,
but I am someone that tends to set very, very, very high goals!
To follow his dream, Josh has made loads of sacrifices.
His whole family have moved over 30 miles,
changing schools and jobs, and leaving friends behind.
We've moved locations for this.
We moved from Lincoln to Nottingham to come and do this sport
and we've put a lot of time and effort into this.
And Josh's gruelling schedule also made it hard for his sister, Chloe.
Chloe never had any play dates after school
because she was always in the car.
It was quite annoying,
because it kind of wasn't my life
as much as much as I wanted it to be.
It was kind of all about Josh.
Now she's settled in Nottingham, Chloe has her own dreams to follow.
I do want to be an actress and be on telly and in films.
And I always think, "Oh, I'd love to be that role."
And now they're closer to the rink,
there's more time for normal family life.
-Has everybody got everything?
-It's really nice.
-Yeah, it's really nice, Mummy.
His aspiration is to win an Olympic medal,
so he's making sacrifices
because he knows that, ultimately, they'll pay off.
When we lived in Lincoln, we never sat down together as a family.
Only on a Sunday - that would be about it.
I think it just makes you more of a family,
which was really missing when we were just doing the commuting.
We've definitely spent a lot of money and sacrificed a lot
in order for me to get to this point now.
Hopefully he'll make it to the Olympics and win gold.
If he doesn't, then he's in trouble.
It's 6am, and Josh is warming up at the Olympic rink,
ready to learn a new routine.
In three weeks' time,
he has an international competition in Luxembourg,
which could help bring him closer to his Olympic dream.
In my new routine, I mean, I have six triple jumps,
which are like the hardest jumps to do,
and trying to do them all the first time is quite challenging.
I think every training session's tiring!
There's never an easy day.
Coach Gurgen is an ex-Olympic figure skater,
and is taking Josh through his new routine
with his tough-love approach.
It was very high. No problem, man.
Come on, just skating nice and beautiful with big spin, right?
One of Josh's best friends, Kloe, is also up early before school.
I get up at six o'clock.
From 6.30 till 8.00, I'm training in the morning.
She's one of Great Britain's hopefuls
and, like Josh, will be competing at Junior level.
She was disappointed with her performance in Luxembourg last year.
I'm feeling a bit nervous about Luxembourg,
but this is what I want to do,
and I want to be a professional figure skater, so...
Gurgen and his coaches have been training
both Josh and Kloe for years.
They've grown up together on the ice.
so Josh has two "Chloes" in his life -
his real sister and his ice sister.
I think if I didn't have Kloe as not only a training partner,
but as a best friend, I think it would be really hard
to be as pushed and as driven-forward as I am.
Very nice spin, all right?
And you can give more push up there,
and it will be like how they did it the first time, you remember?
I felt like this session was really good and I'm happy about that
because, every time before competitions,
if I skate bad in the session, I get more nervous.
So I'm really happy that this session went like this.
Things are looking good for Kloe
but, back on the ice, Josh is discovering
that landing new moves isn't always that easy,
no matter how good you are.
This is not OK.
You did ideal jump and it was beautiful and then fell, why?
Believe me, you're doing absolutely good jump.
When he fell today, just because he was angry with himself today,
you know, because something is not happen how he think.
But this is good,
because he have a big ambition.
I have to explain to him -
without mistake, we can't learn.
It is annoying when you do fall, and you're like, "I can do this,
"I've been able to do it for a while,"
so, yeah, you've just got make sure you get back up and just keep going.
Not all the skating disciplines are about grace and beauty.
Some are about speed, adrenaline and power.
Maddy is one girl who's faster than most.
It's pretty cool, being a speed skater,
because you're going really fast
on ice, on these super-sharp blades.
I kind of like that, cos it's a bit unpredictable.
It's fast and furious, with skaters racing each other around the ice
at high speeds, trying to be the first to cross the finish line.
Ex-Olympian coach Mandy knows it takes a special kind of person
to take on this sport.
People that carry on into speed skating are a certain personality.
they like the competitive, they like speed,
they like things that are a bit reckless.
You have to be really competitive.
It adds a little bit of danger, which I like.
Not sure what that says about me.
But her love of danger has come at a price.
I completely stopped skating for around six months,
cos I just couldn't do it without feeling...
without literally not being able to breathe.
It just kind of cuts off and I can't get any air down at all
and it's awful, and it's worst feeling ever,
and I don't like that I now associate that with skating,
which is obviously one of my favourite things in the world.
It's an illness that can affect speed skaters
who push themselves too hard, too young.
We had two skaters this year -
we had Ben and we've had Maddy - who've both struggled.
They ran out of breath and they felt dizzy, and they got no energy.
So, for Maddy, she'd struggle with her breathing,
she would have, like, a panic attack,
so she would be gagging, so then she would just stand up
and not finish the race, or they would stop the race.
She was struggling, even, to get through a 500m race.
She'd do maybe two laps and have to stop
because her chest got tight,
she felt like she couldn't breathe.
Maddy's got an important speed skating competition tomorrow
and needs to set a good time.
Well, I have to get 54 dead
in order to qualify for international competitions.
I'm a little worried about it.
She's not been doing anywhere near the number of training sessions
she probably normally would do.
So, in an attempt to improve her health
AND get the speed times she needs, Maddy's changing her diet.
I decided to start a vegetarian diet
in the hopes that it will perhaps ease my breathing
because of the healthier diet.
Tonight is her...OUR inaugural vegetarian meal,
and Maddy is going to cook it for us.
Put the water on to boil first, then you can put your tagliatelle on.
How much water do I put in? A lot?
You need to be very strong.
I am strong! Oh, my...! Look!
Don't put it in yet - you boil the water first.
Oh, yeah, you do!
She might be a pro on the ice...
I don't think I've ever burnt anything too... There was the...
-Too badly! Were you going to say that, "too badly"?
..but, in the kitchen, it's another story...
Look at the sheer beauty of this courgette stalk.
Yes, I'm very impressed, Maddy.
But you need to learn to read a recipe.
Oh, my gosh!
-I can read a recipe.
First vegetarian meal cooked.
It's time for the taste test.
Here you go, Mother.
Wow, that looks really good. Thanks.
It's actually pretty nice.
It's pretty decent.
Hopefully all those vitamins will give Maddy the boost she needs
to qualify at the speed skating competition tomorrow.
There's one week to go
before the international figure skating competition,
and Josh is pushing himself hard.
Most mornings, I tend to wake up about 5.50, 6.00-ish.
So we'll train before school and after school
for one to two hours in the morning,
and then about two to three hours in the afternoon after school.
Then, on a Saturday, we'll come in and train for three hours,
on and off the ice, and we'll have ballet on Saturday.
Training definitely doesn't stop once we've stepped off the ice.
I mean, you've got off-ice all the time.
When I come home, I mean,
I've got a treadmill in my garage that I use every day
and I'm having baths every night.
Just your whole general life revolves around
making sure you're prepared for competitions,
making sure you're training the best you can be,
cos Olympic champions don't stop.
Josh's full-on training schedule means he gets to leave school
at 2.15 every day.
I won't be there for a full day of school any days of the week.
Now that Josh is working towards his GCSEs,
he's starting to feel the pressure from both sides.
It's definitely busy trying to balance school and skating
and trying to get here on time, bearing in mind
the session starts in two minutes, and I'm still looking like this.
With skating and schoolwork taking up every minute of the day,
it means he hasn't got time for a social life.
I wouldn't say I feel left out,
cos obviously I still see them during the day at school,
but I think, obviously, when you're constantly like...
Say, on Facebook, they post a photo or whatever and you're not there,
it's one of those things where it's like...
"I wish I could have been there!"
All the hard-core training Josh is doing
is starting to take its toll on his body.
-Lovely, would you like to take a seat?
-We'll be with you in a bit.
I do have an injury at the moment on my ankles.
Obviously, landing the jumps has got a lot of weight and pressure
on your ankles, and your legs and your feet, so it's a lot...
It takes a toll on your body, so it's important we come to the physio
to look after it and make sure it doesn't get any worse.
Come in, come in. How are you doing? You all right?
As a mum, it is quite worrying when Josh gets these injuries,
because he can't train, or he's in a lot of pain.
And also you can see the swelling that he's got -
he's moaning about it quite a lot.
Ice-skating itself is a really dangerous sport,
because they've got a blade on the end of their foot,
and also it's the only sport I know that they don't wear a crash helmet.
So have you skated...? Been skating more?
Have you ramped up the training a bit?
Or has it stayed the same?
I think, yeah, we're slowly starting to increase the training again.
It's not meant to look comfortable.
I know. No, it does really hurt.
There's a section here which is neither tendon nor ligament, really,
that has thickened
and, every time Josh is putting his skates on,
it gets irritated slightly
when he does more of the extreme twists and spins and jumps.
It feels a lot better already.
I mean, it was hurting at the start of the session.
Josh's feet might be better for now,
but competing at a high level at such a young age has its risks.
When you're only 15, like I am, to then be told by your physio
that your feet are already not like everyone else's, like...
I think that's the thing you put into the sport, though,
because I've chosen to do this and I want to do this.
So I just have to take on board when he says, like,
obviously my feet aren't the way they should be.
It's not just Josh
who's experiencing the harsh reality of skating.
Just days before they leave for Luxembourg,
friend Kloe has had a massive set-back.
I've injured my foot last week,
but I'm not exactly too sure what happened to it.
When I went to skating on Monday, it was really hurting,
so they said to rest it for a few days and just ice it...
Even if I miss skating for one day, I kind of start missing it.
An injury like this could stop her going to the competition.
It could be scary to think about...
maybe I can't go.
Normally, if I had an injury like this,
I would probably stay off for at least, um...
four days, but now that I have Luxembourg coming up,
I have to go to the rink tomorrow, so I keep training still.
With Luxembourg just days away,
all Kloe can do is hope her ankle recovers in time.
At the Arena Rink, it's time for speed skater Maddy
to prove she has what it takes
to compete at international competitions next season.
Well, I'm here for the competition and feeling all right at moment.
Yeah, I'm a bit worried about my breathing,
but, if I start coughing, then I'll just try to finish the race
and not collapse or something!
Have you got everything? Got your drinks and guards?
Yes, I've got everything!
-Good luck, then. Race well, enjoy it!
A few worries about my breathing, obviously,
but it's really hard and I still...
I can never really go to my full speed because of it,
cos I just can't get the air in to be able to do that.
It's an important competition for her today,
cos she needs her qualifying time for the Star class.
But, because she hasn't achieved the time,
she's now got to re-achieve it, which is a 54.
So let's find out just what Maddy's made of.
Go to the start.
-And she's off!
And straight into first place.
Come on! All the way!
Come on, Maddy! Maddy!
But, two laps into the race, there's a problem...
Go on, Maddy!
She's struggling to breath as she crosses the line in third place.
I felt awful going round there.
My breathing was really bad.
Although I managed to, like, not cough until the last lap,
it was still really, really bad. SHE BREATHES HEAVILY
Like, REALLY bad. And I still haven't properly got my breath back
from the end of the thing.
And I'm pretty sure my time was a whole lot slower, so...
Maddy's time was 56 seconds.
Two seconds away from qualifying for the internationals next year.
I'm really annoyed.
SHOUTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
I was going around the rink, just holding on to my...
It doesn't really do much, it's more of a reflex action
but I was just coughing and everything and it was awful.
Overall, I'm really proud of her because she has persevered.
To me, that just takes a massive amount of guts.
I think the fact that she struggled with her breathing will have...
will have held her back.
I think it's been a life-changing experience.
I think she's one of these girls that's a perfectionist,
and I think she's had a big learning curve.
But I think, for skating, it's kind of written off her year.
I was two seconds off getting the time,
which is quite a lot, when you think about it.
Maddy's determined to keep skating, and won't give up,
much like ice-dancer Chloe,
who's still hoping she'll find a partner.
She is sitting down with her mum to set up her Partner Search profile.
There's like a million on there...
I take it they're all girls.
I'm going to see if there are any partners,
-like, boys, that match my qualities, I guess.
-Five foot... What was it again?
-5'5". No, 5'6".
-Was it six?
-Then age...11 and 14.
-Oh, wow. My goodness me!
How do you do it, then? Tell me about it.
You're meant to fill in all my information about my skating.
Just, like, my competitions records and my...
where I skate, and I want to mention
how I would like to go to the British, Europeans and Olympics
and that sort of stuff.
-So you want to do competitive skating, as well?
-Level of... Olympic standard?
Yeah, why not?
To Olympic standard.
And what qualities do you possess that would make you a good partner?
Well, other than I'm fabulous, let me think.
SHE LAUGHS So, number one - "fabulous".
I'm nice, understanding. I've got good skills, I can help...
We can help teach each other. I'm patient, not aggressive.
Yeah, if you want to put all that down, it sounds really good.
So what kind of partner are you looking for, Chloe?
A nice one!
One that can skate and is kind of understanding if I've got an injury.
-So a higher-level boy, rather than a beginner?
I wouldn't like someone I had to drag around with me
and I don't think he would like someone he has to drag around,
so someone that's either a level below or just a level above.
Success. OK, that's all done, then.
Profile complete, Chloe has to wait for the dancer of her dreams
to drop into her inbox.
Since speed skater Maddy
missed out on her international qualifying time by only two seconds,
she's had a lot of thinking to do.
and knowing that I'm not going to win these competitions,
it's still quite embarrassing, even though most people know why it is.
But the way I look at it,
I'd rather, like, put up with that embarrassment
because it's still something that I love to do.
She's now decided to focus on the positives.
I've had an epiphany, that I kind of need to...
branch out to other things, to things other than skating,
and I would obviously prefer to be doing more training,
cos it's something I love,
but it has allowed me to...
like, see my friends more often.
So I was going to wear this,
but it's got a couple of stains on from my hair dye, just...
-I think it looks fine!
I was thinking maybe this one, cos it's quite light and stuff so...
Yeah, I like that.
I'm going to this festival with my friend.
-You look nice. You look very nice.
-How do you think this hoodie looks?
I think it looks good, yeah.
I think I might wear the hoodie instead of the jacket, cos...
-..it is lighter and I can wrap it around my waist easier.
If I need to take it off.
It's predominantly rock music, and I'm really excited for it.
It's literally going to be like a load of emo music, that you like.
Not emo - emotional. It's post-hardcore!
Hi, Madds. Before you go. Money...
Oh, why, thank you!
'My whole life doesn't revolve around skating.
'I would say that it used to,'
but now I can actually have a social life.
Next time on Ice Stars...
The under-16s ice hockey team take on their fiercest rivals!
You've got 15 minutes, yeah,
before one of the worst defeats that you guys will have in your career!
Figure skater Keira is in for a big surprise.
Bend. Keep your body straight.
And ice dance duo Josh and Ellie take their partnership off the ice.
I'll go through your legs.