She’s made it all the way to the finals of Dancing on Ice with her partner Mark Hanretty, but despite how far she’s come, Paralympian Libby Clegg admits it hasn’t been easy – and there was a time where she thought she may have bitten off more than she could chew.
The 29-year-old sprinter is registered blind and has a deteriorating eye condition known as Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy disease giving her only slight peripheral vision in her left eye.
Like all finalists, Libby was asked to do a solo skate on the show, however, it went horribly wrong during rehearsals as she ended up falling over.
Speaking to press, including RadioTimes.com, she said: “In rehearsals on Saturday, I fell over doing my solo skate, but I kept doing it. I think that’s when I thought, ‘Actually this is really hard’.”
Commenting on the scary moment, pro skater Mark added: “Because Libby doesn’t complain at all and just takes everything in her stride, I think everyone just thinks, ‘Oh just leave them two to it’.
“It wasn’t until that dress rehearsal on the Saturday when Libby crashed into the side and fell over that everyone thought, ‘Maybe this is a bit too dangerous’.”
Agreeing, Libby said: “Too far.”
Despite the tumble, Libby managed to impress the judges with her solo skate on the night and she couldn’t be happier about overcoming the challenge.
When asked if the experience had boosted her confidence, she said: “I definitely think it has. Mark has made this experience amazing. Mark has challenged me and pushed me far enough, but not like overkill.
“There were times when I told Mark to do harder stuff because some of the lifts were rubbish and too easy. So, I think it’s been a really good experience and definitely made me a lot more confident.”
During the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Libby was made to wear a blind fold for the first time while competing due to a reclassification.
Despite winning the T11 100m title and 200m title, the incident really knocked her confidence.
“I was really not the person I was before and I think this experience has helped that,” she said.
And that’s not the only thing it’s helped with, as Libby – who gave birth to her son Edward last April – revealed she’s lost a stone.
She continued: “I’ve just been getting back into shape again. I’ve lost a lot of good weight. I’ve toned up more because obviously when you’ve had a baby all your body feels horrendous, like my joints aren’t attached to my body anymore.
“So this has been great getting everything back together again. I reckon I’ve lost 6 kilos (13st) as a minimum, potentially more 8 kilos. It’s really good because when I go back into training I’ll be in a really good position.”
The Dancing on Ice final is on this Sunday at 6pm, only on ITV.