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Now Known as “Vancouver’s Darling of the Ice,” Joannie Rochette’s Emotional Story

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VANCOUVER- The Olympics requires participants to put their hearts and souls into their performances. It requires them to do their best, no matter what happens. But, if your mother dies just two days before your first Olympic appearance, can you do your best? Canada’s Joannie Rochette competed in the Olympics for the women’s figure skating short program two days after and competed in the free skate four days after her mother passed away. Rochette’s performances were said to be truly amazing, both technically and emotionally.

Therese Rochette, Joannie’s mother, was her biggest fan and toughest critic. She gave up much in her life in order to help her daughter reach her full potential. According to CTV Montreal News, Joannie’s father informed her that her mother had passed due to a heart attack on February 22nd. Therese was only fifty-five. Although some were unsure if she would compete, Joannie knew that she had to. In the end, she did more than just compete. Joannie poured her whole heart into her performances, forcing many of the fans in the crowd to hold back tears as well.

“She put on a performance that was so heroic,” said Skate Canada’s William Thompson when he saw himself crying at the end of Rochette’s program. “It’s an incredible story.”

The crowd held their collective breath, hoping should would not make a mistake. Shocking everyone, her program was almost flawless. When she was finished, the crowd went wild, throwing roses, cheering, and clapping for the courageous skater.

“It was a very nice, warm welcome. Hard to handle, but I appreciate the support. I will remember this forever.” said Joannie Rochette in response to the crowd’s reactions. She had kept her composure throughout the performance; however, at the end she cried, blew kisses, and shared a long hug with her coach.

According to The Times Colonist, after an unbelievable job in the short program, she received a 71.36. This score was a personal best. Her free skate performance had a few flaws; however, it was still as emotionally beautiful and moving as the short program. In the end, she received a 131.28, making a total of 202.64. This allowed her to receive the bronze medal and third place in the 2010 Olympics behind Korea’s Yu-Na Kim and Japan’s Mao Asada. According to the CTV Montreal News, this was Canada’s first medal in the women’s figure skating in 22 years.

“Right now I think her mother is jumping up and down in the sky,” Thompson said. “That was the dream performance.”



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