I’m going to admit up front that this post has nothing to do with reading (unless reading CNN counts?) and is only tangentially related to my mom. However, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
I am not a die hard figure skating fan, and the Winter Olympics have only held my attention sporadically the last two weeks. However, last night I sat down to watch the women’s skating finals because it’s my favorite sport of the Games and, frankly, I had nothing else to do.
As usual, I soon became absorbed in the individual skaters’ stories: the South Korean skater who is a superstar in her country, the American who spent the day before the event doing homework and is going to Stanford for college, and the Canadian whose mother just recently passed away.
It seemed clear that the fight for gold was probably going to come down to rival countries South Korea and Japan. Barring any major mistakes, the real race for everyone else would be bronze. The patriotic side of me thought I should root for the Americans. But call me a sucker, I wanted it for Canada. Joannie Rochette’s mom died of a heart attack Sunday – just two days before her first skate. And yet here she was, keeping it together and trying to make both herself and her mom proud.
As you can imagine, I really felt for her and I am just so glad she got the bronze. (Not just because of her mom, of course, but also because she skated so damn well.)
Below is the article from CNN about her. It’s a little long for this post, so you’ll have to click “Keep Reading” for the whole story.
With mom in ‘heart and soul,’ Rochette goes for medal
(CNN) — Things were good for Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette in the weeks before the Winter Olympics. She had a 2009 world silver medal. Training was going well. And, she told her agent, she had her confidante and source of strength by her side.
“‘I have my mom,'” agent Dave Baden recalled Rochette saying to him at the time. “‘At this point, I know what to do, and I have my mother.'”
“She’s been training for this all her life, so the only thing she needed to get to that next level was the strength she got from her mother,” Baden said.
That strength, he said, is helping her pull through the Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, even though her mother is now gone.
Therese Rochette died Sunday of a heart attack in Vancouver at age 55, Canadian Olympic officials said. Joannie Rochette opted to stay in the games, and two days later stirred a crowd with a courageous performance that earned the third best score in the women’s short program.
On Thursday, the 24-year-old will finish her drive for her first Olympic medal during the free skate program at Pacific Coliseum.