Ice skating writer Sandra Stevenson, who covered Britain’s golden era of John Curry, Robin Cousins, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean and was still working at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, has died. She was 76.
Stevenson, the Daily Telegraph’s ice skating correspondent for many years, was born in Greenock where her father, a naval officer, was stationed, and after the war the family settled in Coventry, though her mother died when Stevenson was young.
Her first writing work after attending St Andrew’s University was for the DC Thomson titles, including Bunty. She also appeared in the chorus lines of ice shows before moving to New York, where she lived for the rest of her life.
She covered her first World Championships, in Geneva in 1968, and the Olympic Games in Grenoble. Three years later she was taken on as The Guardian’s ice skating correspondent, before joining The Daily Telegraph. She also wrote skating obituaries for The Independent.
Stevenson wrote for skating magazines, often as Alexandra Stevenson or Sonja Springs, and in 1984 was the author of The BBC Book of Skating. She ‘ghosted’ Spice on Ice, the joint autobiography of the former British ice dance champions, Karen Barber and Nicky Slater.
Stevenson was a popular figure on the skating circuit, with a habit of asking quirky questions at press conferences. She was a firm advocate of ice skating being an Olympic sport despite some believing that the subjective nature of its judging made it unsuitable. As she once reflected: “Why would you deny such harmless, pleasant entertainment to a world in need of beauty?”