It is a tragic, yet inspirational tale. Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette was joined in Vancouver by her mother and father last Friday. By Sunday, her mother was dead. Mother Therese suddenly and unexpectedly died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 55. Joannie credits her mother with providing her constant inspiration and support of her figure skating dreams.
Yesterday, the 24-year-old Montreal native took to the ice and composed herself to present to the judges her finest performance to date. As soon as the routine ended, Joannie burst into tears and placed her hand over her heart. She skated over to and fell into the arms of her coach, Manon Perron. Joannie’s father, Normand, cried in the stands.
Joannie is a six-time Canadian figure skating champion, and her Olympic routine yesterday gave her 71.36 points, a personal best. For the time being, this lands Joannie in third place. The ladies’ free skate takes place Thursday.