Last night it was the women’s turn to compete in the individual figure skating competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics.Â The women took to the ice ready to pull out all the stops.Â However, Canadian Joannie Rochette came to the ice with a very heavy heart.Â Sunday in Vancouver Rochette’s mother died suddenly of a heart attack.Â There were no warning signs, it happened unexpectedly.Â It was unclear if Rochette was going to even skate, two days after the loss of her mother, however she decided to skate in honor of her mother.
This women’s figure skate is a test of personal strength and courage.Â Seeing Rochette skate last night was an incredibly moving experience, she was graceful and elegant–leaving me speechless and in tears.Â What happened to Joannie Rochette is not wished upon anyone, what she is going through is one of the hardest things in the world; to skate the best figure skating performance of her life is awe inspiring and a reminder of the strength of love that bonds mother and daughter.
Rochette grew up an only child in a small town in Quebec.Â She finished fifth in the Torino Winter Olympics.Â Joannie Rochette comes from a family that has experiences immense pain.Â Her mother Therese was engaged in her early twenties only to have her fiance die in an accident weeks before the wedding.Â When Therese was able to move on she met Joannie’s father Normand only to have their first baby die shortly after being born.Â This family knows heartache;Â Joannie Rochette is a product of loving and resilient parents, it is clear why she decided to figure skate in these 2010 Winter Olympics.
Joannie Rochette’s short program was a personal best for her, nailing her triple Lutz-double toeloop combination, a very clean performance.Â At the end of her program the audience applauded and cheered to a crying Rochette.Â Her program was so moving, you could tell she was skating for someone other than herself–someone who she loves dearly.Â Rochette placed thrid behind South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na and Japan’s Mao Asada.
To watch Rochette’s spectacular figure skating performace click here.