Dancing On Ice star Colin Jackson has addressed his ‘destructive’ battle with bulimia in a new interview and admitted ‘the feeling never leaves you.’
The Olympian and 60-metres hurdle world record holder, 53, spoke about how important it is not to let vanity become obsessive on Decathlon’s new The Power of Ten podcast.
‘This is the real important thing,’ he said. ‘Never make those things [vanity] become obsessive, because when they become obsessive, then they come destructive as well.’
‘Vanity is very much a part of it’: Dancing On Ice’s Colin Jackson has discussed his ‘destructive’ bulimia battle and admits ‘the feeling never leaves you’
‘You can have that passion about it and that sense of like, “OK, I want to achieve that. This is what I want to be”. But please, please, please never make it obsessive because that’s why I fell down that path…of bulimia.’
‘I understand it [bulimia] now – it never really leaves you that that kind of feeling, but now I can control things much better…Yes, vanity is very much part of it.
‘But I know the best way and the safest way to look good and feel good about myself, which will ultimately, hopefully help my performance.’
During the interview, Colin said Dancing On Ice training has been the most challenging thing he has ever done.
He said: ‘You can have that passion about it and that sense of like, “OK, I want to achieve that…But please never make it obsessive because that’s why I fell down that path…of bulimia’ (pictured after winning the Men’s 110m Hurdles Final in Seville in 1999)
Talking to Olympic skier Graham Bell, who is another contestant on this year’s Dancing On Ice series, Colin discussed the difficulties he has faced trying to master professional ice skating.
He explained: ‘It is the most challenging thing I’ve done by far…trying to learn to hold a body posture. And as you know yourself…you make one slight, slight turn too far to the left and your whole body goes in the direction and it is so, so precise. I have a huge respect for ice skaters from here on in, trust me.’
He believes Dancing On Ice has helped him during lockdown and given him something new to learn.
Colin said: ‘I think for me at the moment, it’s the only thing that I’m doing that takes me away from reality, because once I’m in the ice rink, there’s nothing else I focus on.’
Colin has always talked openly about the challenges he has faced throughout his career in relation to race and his sexuality and admits that he has felt that there is a requirement for minorities to work harder for success.
The star revealed: ‘I think sometimes people have got to remember…that when you’re black in the Western world, you’re a minority…
‘We’re not being oversensitive, we’re just trying to be equal… we don’t really want to feel that we need to work any harder than anybody else to get the success. [It’s the] same in the world of sport, I guess.’
Colin said: ‘I understand it [bulimia] now – it never really leaves you that that kind of feeling, but now I can control things much better…Yes, vanity is very much part of it’ (pictured in 2018)
The athlete went on to admit that he has suffered discrimination throughout his life and as a result impacted his choice of sport.
He revealed: ‘In every walk of life. I mean, the first thing people do see… you’re black, right. So that’s the first thing they see.
‘I went to athletics because athletics seemed to be a sport that accepted black people to be successful.’
Speaking further about coming out as gay, Jackson revealed the positive impact he has been able to have on young people in sport.
He said: ‘I got lots of messages from youngsters…you don’t realise when you do something like that, how you can really influence other people’s lives in such a positive manner. And that was really important in the end to do.’
He continued: ‘It did make a huge positive difference for lots of youngsters that were in the sport and doing stuff. And I thought, well, that’s good, because if you can do something that’s you without any effort and it makes a huge positive impact for people, then it’s a win-win situation.’
The Decathlon Podcast, including episodes featuring Jackson, is now available to stream or download via Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts and all other major podcasting channels.
For more information, visit www.decathlon.co.uk.
Dancing On Ice 2021: Who are the celebrities?
Profession: Musician and radio host
Myleene says: ‘My girls have always wanted me to do this but I’ve always been too scared someone will skate over my fingers!’
Profession: Actor and singer, best know for playing Scott Robinson in Neighbours
Jason says: ‘To be able to learn a skill and spend some time focused is quite exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing you guys.’
Profession: Actress best known for her role as Kate Connor in Coronation Street
Faye says: ‘I’m so excited! The producers get to know you and this is the first time I think people are just going to see me, not being a character… Just being me – Faye!’
Profession: Former sprint and hurdling athlete, who has since carved out a career as a TV personality
Colin says: ‘You go out there, you enjoy yourself and you learn a new skill and to hone the skill of skating will just be a huge, huge plus. I’m looking forward to it.’
Profession: TV personality
Rebekah says: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into that. I’m going to give my 100% effort for it all.’
Rufus says: ‘I’m doing it for the money. I don’t know if you’ve heard but about six months ago this global pandemic hit and made just about everything I’ve ever done to earn a pound note disappear!’
DENISE VAN OUTEN
Profession: Performer and presenter, best known for The Big Breakfast
Denise says: ‘I’m really excited. Finally, I get to tell people. I’ve kept this a secret from most of my friends and family. Betsy [her daughter] doesn’t even know….’
Profession: Singer and radio presenter, best known for his daily Breakfast Show on Capital Radio
Sonny says: ‘I don’t want to fall over, not in front of the nation. I don’t want to be a meme the next day!’
Profession: Actor best known for his role as Jacob Gallagher in Emmerdale
Joe-Warren says: ‘I’m super excited. I’m glad I have the time off Emmerdale to really focus on training…’
Profession: Former Olympic skier, who is also a TV presenter, adventurer and journalist
Graham says: ‘Ice doesn’t scare me, it’s the dancing… [My experience was confined to] ‘dancing on tables, wearing ski boots in après ski. It’s not graceful and elegant!’
Lady says: ‘I’m petrified, (but) I’ve always wanted to ice skate so what’s better than doing it in front of millions of people.’
Profession: Television personality
Billie says: ‘I am soooo excited to announce that I will be taking part. I still can’t believe I am actually doing it!!’