This year, Paralympic sprinter Libby Clegg MBE will make history as the first visually impaired contestant on ITV’s ice-skating contest Dancing on Ice, and she’s looking forward to increasing public perception of disability when she does her first performance.
“I think it’s just a really good opportunity for me to show disability in a really positive light,” she said. “No-one has had a visually impaired person on a show before.”
However, Clegg’s also in it to win it – and she actually thinks that people may be underestimating her chances, especially given her athletics experience and high level of fitness.
“I’m intrigued to see how far I’ll go,” Clegg said when asked about her chances of winning.
“I think I could end up being a bit of a dark horse. I’m just going to focus on improving myself and not focus on anyone else.
“The training element doesn’t scare me at all. It’s how I will fit it in with my own training on the track. I normally train five times a week.”
This week, Clegg will skate to Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson with her partner Mark Hanretyy – and she says she isn’t too worried about criticism from the judges, noting that she’s used to it from her sporting background.
“I really like criticism,” she said. “It makes you better. I won’t take anything personally ever. I find it really constructive. I like good criticism.
“I don’t really have any major fears to be honest,” she added.
“I’m really excited to have a new challenge. It’s something I’ve not done before but it’s excitable nerves rather than daunting nerves. I really want to learn something new. Because I run, I can transfer those nerves into good nerves. I’m good at containing them.”
Sounds like Libby could be one to watch…
Dancing on Ice airs on ITV on Sundays