Dancing On Ice contestant Matthew Wolfenden has said that winning the celebrity skating show would be just as good as taking a gold medal at the Olympics – an ambition of his cut short by an injury.
The actor, who will make his skating debut on Sunday night’s show with partner Nina Ulanova, originally trained as a gymnast and had been a part of the British team – until he damaged his spine during training when he was 17.
However he is hoping that success on the ice could more than make up for missing out on Olympics glory.
“I’d have loved to have been in the Olympics but it would be as good as winning an Olympic gold if I won Dancing On Ice!” he told The Sun.
“People might not be as impressed but it would mean a lot to me. I’m enjoying the show so much, I’ve learned a new skill.”
Matthew revealed that the accident – which happened when he fell from a set of gymnastic rings while training late at night – left him with two broken vertebrae.
And although he underwent three years of therapy to walk properly again, he still feels the after effects.
“Gymnastics was my life and then one mistake and it was all over. I wore a back support for years and I still put one on if I am driving for long periods,” he said.
“But training for Dancing On Ice helps because it improves your core strength.”