Did you know, Strictly on Ice had a very different ending to the one you find in the book? Here, exclusively for you, are extracts from the original ending! (If you haven’t read Strictly on Ice yet, you might find this spoils things for you by giving you too many clues about the story – you have been warned!)
Katie goes to Canada to train for the Olympics. Her and Jamie don’t get together, but they stay in touch, and Jamie goes to watch her performance. The day before she’s due to skate, Katie’s old ankle injury flares up again.
It was the day before her performance and Katie was free to go to the rink and practice, her mandatory drug tests over. She laced up her boots and chatted with Ivan before she got on the ice. She knew her short and long programmes inside out, but the feted triple axel would be difficult to deliver.
She started her practice, feeling calm and confident, certain that this was the winning routine. Her timing was perfect and her jumps smooth. She allowed the music to guide her, feeling the rhythm in her heart and mind, not allowing herself to think of anything but the ice and her mastery of it. As she entered the triple axel, she felt a tremor, a ripple where her leg seemed to flex on the take-off, the blade beneath her slanting by only the tiniest of margins, but she knew as she entered the rotations. ‘It’s not right, it’s not right,’ her mind cried warnings at her, but she was helpless against gravity’s hold and a grinding pain enveloped her as she landed on her ankle and her leg caved beneath her. She slammed her hands down on the ice and screamed, saw Ivan’s feet racing towards her, and black spots covered her vision.
Despite her injury, Katie battles through the pain to compete, but she can’t finish her routine. She ends to resounding applause, and limps away from the arena, proud to have tried, but once again mourning the loss of her Olympic dream.
Her ankle burned beneath her and she clenched her teeth behind her smile. She could hear the disappointment surge in the crowd at the first fall, the sympathetic murmurs at the second, the sad silence at the third, when her tears from the pain and the frustration began to track down her face, on show to the crowd.
At the fourth stumble, she grimaced and got up slowly, thinking that perhaps she would finish. The music continued to sound out jauntily in the stillness of the arena, when a loud solitary clap rang out over the ice. She couldn’t see where it was coming from, but another joined in, then another. A crescendo of applause roared through the arena as the audience stood, and she was embraced by the sound of their cheers. Spectators behind every flag stood to applaud her, acknowledging her attempt, telling her she didn’t need to do anymore. She had done enough.
Jamie goes straight to her to comfort her, and it’s in the closing moments of the book that they confess their love for each other.
“You did so well to even go out there,” Jamie said. “Everyone was behind you.” He paused. “I just couldn’t stop myself from clapping when I saw you struggling – I’m pretty sure I broke some kind of ice-skating etiquette, right?” he laughed.
“That was you!?” Katie exclaimed.
He grinned at her. “Of course. I’m your biggest fan.”
Katie gently slipped her hand into his and entwined her fingers with his. Jamie was about to ask her if she needed anything when she moved forwards and pressed her lips gently against his.
He leaned back slightly and took a strand of her hair, running it around his fingers. “Katie, perhaps this isn’t the right time?” he asked, but even as he said it, he was unable to stop himself from leaning in to kiss her again, this time more intensely, his hands around her face and in her hair. The kiss deepened and she leaned into him until his arms were wrapped fully around her and she was pressing her hands against the back of his head, aching for him.
He leaned back, panting, and rested his forehead against hers. “Are you sure about this…?” he asked, worried that she just wanted him in this moment for comfort and nothing more.
“Shut up,” she said and kissed him again, both of them smiling at each other as their mouths connected once more.
Katie slid one hand down the side of his face, feeling the slight rasp of his stubble under her fingers. Jamie took her hand and kissed her fingers.
Katie knew her dreams of standing on the podium were dashed, but she had won something infinitely more precious than gold that day. She could return home knowing she had tried her best and taken her chances, and start looking forward to a future different from what she had planned, a better one, with Jamie at her side.
I think the new ending is so much more uplifting and I’m glad I changed it! I hope you’ll agree…!