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Home / Latest News / Rugby ace Gareth Thomas gets his skates on for Celebrities on Ice

Rugby ace Gareth Thomas gets his skates on for Celebrities on Ice

Gareth Thomas  may have missed out  on the final of Dancing On Ice due to  dreadful motion  sickness but it hasn’t put him off  returning to the ice – just don’t  ask him to fly from a trapeze or  hang upside down.

In fact, just give the former winger a rugby ball, a pair of ice skates  and the challenge of a friendly  rivalry routine with England’s  Kyran Bracken, and he’s far more  comfortable.

Gareth, from Bridgend, had to  drop out of the semi-final of the  popular reality TV show after becoming so ill with vertigo that he  needed hospital treatment.

He admits he was disappointed  not to see the challenge through to  the end but he’s fully recovered  now and loving being back on the  ice as part of the Celebrities On Ice  tour, which comes to Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena this weekend.

He stars alongside the programme’s eventual winner and  Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle as  well as actor Matt Lapinskas, and  former Welsh X Factor star Chico.

Gareth, 38, says: “I’m fully recovered and it’s great to be back.  I’m absolutely fine now. I know that  it’s never going to happen again  because I’m not going to try to  perform any stunts like that ever  again. It was never something I was  confident in doing at all.

“I was sorry that it had to end the  way it did and I really tried hard  throughout the whole process to  work as hard as I could on the ice  but the sickness was just awful. As  soon as I started learning the flying  routine I just got this awful motion  sickness and I was dizzy and vomiting with vertigo. There’s no way I  could have done the routine. It was  really uncomfortable and I felt so  ill.

“It was a shame to go out like that  but it’s great to be back on the ice.  I’m skating this time round with  Jenna Smith as Robyn, who I was  with on the show, had other commitments but she’s now one of my  closest friends and we speak every  day. Jenna is great and we’ve been  working hard to get the routines  right.”

Gareth, affectionately known to  his fans as Alfie, will also treat the  audience to a Wales v England-inspired rugby routine with former  English scrum-half Kyran, who was  champion of the 2007 show.

“It’s always good to be reunited  with the rugby ball and Kyran and I  have a bit of Wales v England  banter which should go down  well.

“We basically compete against  each other, egging each other on  and it’s a good laugh. We are both  really competitive and it’s good to  have a go against him on the ice.

“We didn’t get weeks and weeks  to rehearse so I’ve been concentrating on getting my routines right  and I’ve got to say, it’s great to be on  the ice again.”

And Gareth admits he doesn’t  think he’ll ever stop skating now he  has the bug.

“I’ve been to Planet Ice in Cardiff  a few times since going on the show  and it’s just because I really, really  enjoy being on the ice.

“It’s a lot of hard work but I’ve  enjoyed having that old familiar  sporting buzz that I’ve missed since  I retired from rugby union and  rugby league. I like to put in 100%  whatever I’m doing and this is no  different.”

After the Cardiff leg of the tour,  which is hosted by Christopher  Biggins, Gareth will travel to Glasgow, Carlisle, Manchester, Newcastle, Scarborough, Northampton  and Bournemouth before taking a  break and working on new projects, including a new version of his  autobiography.

“Afterwards I’ll probably make a  start on an updated  book, which will take  in my rugby league  stuff until now. I’ve  got lots of stuff going  on. I like being busy.”

Celebrities on Ice is  at Cardiff Motorpoint  Arena
from tonight  until Sunday. For  tickets, call the box  office on 029 2022  4488


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