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Old 02-22-2010, 03:34 PM   #1
charlene
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Default An Olympian continues on

http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/figureska...erochette.html
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a heart breaking story.

A hymn for Therese Rochette
Meaning in the death of figure skater's mom may lie in a favourite song
Last Updated: Monday, February 22, 2010 | 12:59 AM ET Comments37Recommend148By Malcolm Kelly, CBC Sports

Joannie Rochette performs to L'Hymne A l'Amour in the Olympic free skate at the Palavela in Turin, Italy, on February, 23, 2006. (Torsten Silz/Getty Images)At the last Olympic Games four years ago, Joannie Rochette skated to the music of the great Edith Piaf.

The song was L'Hymne A l'Amour, and its English lyrics as presented by the French legend now haunt:

If the sky should fall into the sea; And the stars fade all around me; For the times that we have known; I will sing a hymn to love.

Yes, the sky has fallen on Rochette, Canada's six-time national women's figure skating champion who found out from her father on Sunday morning that her 55-year-old mother, Therese, had died that morning of a heart attack in Vancouver General Hospital.

In the hours to come, Skate Canada announced the 23-year-old will continue to compete, heading for the short program on Tuesday evening and the final on Thursday.

But it will be with the heaviest of hearts and the memory of a mother's life hard lived, though one that ended on the verge of a daughter's dream.

In a stunningly frank journal entry on her own website, dated Jan. 6, 2006, the Ile-Dupas, Que., native told the story of how the Piaf song choice affected her mother when they listened to the song in the car.

Therese cried.

Loss of her first love
"When she was in her early 20s, my mother had a many years love relationship with a man," Rochette wrote. "They were engaged, and two weeks before their wedding, my mother's fiancé passed away in an accident."

Eventually, Therese would meet and marry Normand, and they would have a child — a son. And the son would die shortly after childbirth.

They tried again, and the result was Joannie.

So, years later when her daughter played the Piaf song, the tears came because it was the music that helped Therese get over the loss of her first love.

"She told me that she listened to that song so many times, after her fiancé passed away," Joannie wrote. "It was HER song."

If one day the life takes you away from me; If you die and you are far from me; No matter, as long as you love me; Because I would also die…

And now the song, whose lyrics were written by Piaf in 1949 after her own lover was killed in a plane crash, will resonate in ways we can only imagine.

Rochette skated that long program to a fifth at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, and after four years of hard work she has come into the Vancouver Games as the defending world silver medallist and as the one woman considered to have any chance to unseat prohibitive favourite Yu-Na Kim of South Korea.

Paying tribute
But what now? Skate Canada says Rochette is going to compete, and that doesn't surprise Pj Kwong, the longtime coach and commentator who has spent many years around top-level competitors.

"My thinking is she wants to pay tribute to her mother's sacrifices and what it took the Rochette family to get to this point," Kwong said. "This is the best way to honour her memory and do that."

This year's piece for the long program is Samson and Delilah — a biblical story of a woman who cuts off a hero's hair in order for him to be weakened and slain.

Whatever that may mean to the skater, it should not be something that will tie her in knots as she performs, as the Piaf song could.

When you meet Joannie Rochette, you see a young woman who has been determined to shoot for the highest of honours, but who will not allow it, she said in a recent interview, to define the rest of her life.

That has been done, for the near future, by fate. And how she reacts to it under the lights of Pacific Coliseum may well come down to the love of her parents, who wanted her so very much.

And the memory of her mother.

Those who love will live eternally; In the blue, where all is harmony; With my voice raised high to heaven; Just for you, I'll sing a hymn to love…
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:46 AM   #2
Jesse Joe
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This is indeed a heart breaking story. The courage that this young lady must have.

"Sometimes this world it just ain't fair."...E Gouchie
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:22 AM   #3
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She skates tonight. I can't imagine how she is dealing with such conflicting emotions..it's so sad.
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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We will be watching... she may get "The Terry Fox Award" @ the end of the olympics.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:04 AM   #5
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She was spectacular! Hard to imagine how she did it, such concentration. It would be wonderful if she gets a medal.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:24 AM   #6
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I totally agree Jenney, she has unbelievable courage I guess she was doin it with her mother's memory in mind.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:56 AM   #7
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even if she doesn't medal she had a personal best and skated under unbelievable pressure beyond what most of us could cope with.. bless her heart..
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:59 AM   #8
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i saw the fine and moving skate late last night....this morning i decided to go for cereal (first time in weeks) for breakfast so grabbed the Cheerios box off the top cupboard shelf that i purchased a few months ago

slim odds but it raised my eyes to see her pic proudly displayed on the front-back of the box

seems like they had chosen 9 Canuck athletes to randomly put on cereal boxes

condolences to the family

to heck with that absurd and self-inflicting Own the Podium campaign...this type of moment is where the With Glowing Hearts resonates throughout the land
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:14 PM   #9
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Own The Podium is a good thing.. it has helped fans/Canadians get more involved and vocal in their supportand regardless of medals has provided much needed funding to the athletes.
Olympic athletes put more pressure on themselves than we ever could. Their focus is monumental. Don't forget that some of the 4th place finishes were determined in hundredths of seconds,.., amazing.

We have 11 medals.
over half of them - SIX, are gold.
Per capita Canada has more medals than pretty well another country..
Several of the medals are 'ground breaking/firsts' -

first gold for canada at games held in canada,
first gold/medal for a new sport (ladies ski cross) was won by a canadian,
first ever gold won by canadians in ice dance was first time for any american or canadian competitor...
a canadian skater performed two days after the sudden death of her mother and had her own personal best score and is in medal contention now..
canadian gold for luge after a horrible accident on the track caused a death just prior to the opening of the Olympics.

So while we won't ski/skate or slide away with 30 medals, the ones so far amassed are quite impressive.. and the collective psyche of Canadians coast to coast to coast (Tom Brokaw said only 2 coasts-we have 3) has been slightly altered to understand that it is ok to 'toot our own horn' with gusto and pride and realize that we can still be polite while doing so...that's gold to me!

I have a Wheaties box (won a dozen of them years ago) with Roger (it's all about me and I'm a steroid junkie) Clemens if ya want it...
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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i still have my Flutie Flakes, lol

i am fine with the funding (i think, lol)....i meant the phrase was very un-Canadian, imo...own the podium has always been that rare occurrence when a country captures gold silver and bronze in an event...this committee redefined it as winning the most medals this year...they seem to forget that other countries are moving forward also since 2002 and 2006...anyhow, the race between USA and Germany for overalls medal count is exciting...the most golds won is also exciting and all that matters, imo....close doenst count here

imo, too said about pressure on our athletes...its what the opposition uses to fuel their tanks that matters based on my experience competing for the province or the country...other athletes and countries are thriving off the Own the Podium phrase when facing a Canuck competitor...its a huge edge

many examples...i remember when the USA gals used the Canuck flag on the floor of their dressing room back in 2002 as a motivating tool...when word of that spread to the Canuck captain (Hayley) you could just sense that the USA team was done...many coaches use newspaper headline clippings containing opposition quotes...anyhow, i think the committee finally said the phrase was a dumb idea and conceded medal count defeat to opponents, duh

i dont mind funding the athletes but i think $110M for that luge track is dumb

the only events that appeal to me as a viewer are hockey, curling (lol) and that snowboard and ski cross...i find single heats boring especially when it all comes down to less than a second for win-lose differentials...the speed skaters should skate on a figure 8 track so it tests their ability to cross over both directions, and also brings collision avoidance strategy into play....i say build a wide luge and bobsled track and have them all go off at once!

I should be exiled...I do not Believe, lol
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:42 PM   #11
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but it's very canadian to be un-canadian..
lol
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:59 PM   #12
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lol, good one

i prefer the old, inferiority complex days...in any sport, i love watching road games more than home games

i am really glad that we are there nicely greeting the world and with our Glowing Hearts but hope we get back to the low key tactics

maybe our group of athletes would be more at home in an orchestra pit instead of up on a podium, lol

mostly i hope for a smooth finish to the games and it all be terrorist-free

and if there are any more technical malfunctions i will be looking for a tax refund
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:13 AM   #13
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Bronze medalist. Good for her!!
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:31 AM   #14
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I am so happy for her.. I'm still sitting here thinking of her and what she has to face this coming week...bless her.

and the Canadian women hockey team won GOLD!~
yahoo.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:53 AM   #15
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Really happy for Joannie Rochette !

Women's hockey team a golden bunch !
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:28 AM   #16
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Skater Rochette grieved, trained in private

Published Saturday February 27th, 2010


Mother's wishes were for bronze medallist 'to go after my dreams'

VANCOUVER - Shaken by the sudden death of her mother, Joannie Rochette opted to turn herself into "an ice cube" and persist in her bid for Olympic figure-skating glory, come what may, to ensure she would never regret her decision.





The Associated Press

Joannie Rochette



The bronze-medal winner told a packed news conference yesterday she isolated herself from the media and others while she privately grieved for her 55-year-old mother Therese and trained intently for her short and long program skates.

"It was better for me to be away from the camera because every time I would see someone look at me with sad eyes it would make me cry," Rochette said.

"So I just wanted to get outside of it, listen to my iPhone, listen to comforting music, just make myself in a good mood to compete. For the short program ... I just wanted to skate and compete. I didn't know if I could do it but I just wanted to try and have no regrets 10 years from now."

After a solid short program that had her in third, Rochette says she isolated herself even more and kept a low profile to focus on the long program and a possible medal.

"When I saw the result, I just told myself that for the long program I needed to put everything on my side because I had a real shot and if I was going to compete I might as well do it well."

On Thursday night, the 24-year-old Rochette finished with 202.64 points to trail Mao Asada of Japan and South Korean gold medal-winner Kim Yu-Na, who was coached by Canadian figure skating legend Brian Orser.
It was the first medal by a Canadian in Olympic women's singles since Elizabeth Manley in 1988.

Not skating this week because of the crushing emotional burden of her mother's death was out of the question, the Quebecer said.
"I know that's what my mom would have wanted me to do -- to go after my dreams," she said.

"So before the long program I didn't talk because it was too hard emotionally. I just isolated myself a bit from the world and I was a bit of an ice cube -- when I went on the ice nothing could penetrate me

"At the end, when I saw the crowd stand up, I could leave Joannie the athlete and be a human being. At the end of my performance, I thanked my mother for the strength she could give me. I don't know if she was there with me, but definitely she raised me up to have that strength to go through anything in life and she proved it to me by what happened here this week."

Rochette said she expects to take part in the world championships in Turin, Italy, next month after taking time at home in Quebec with her family. But she won't make a final decision on that for another week or so.

"Right now I intend to skate in the worlds," she said in an interview after her news conference. "But I'm going to go home first and spend time with my father and family."

During the news conference, Rochette repeatedly said she owed her bronze medal to her mother, who died of a massive heart attack last weekend a few hours after landing in Vancouver to watch her daughter perform.

"When I came fifth at the world championships a few years ago, my mother told me, 'You can do a lot better.' My mother gave me everything during my whole career."

Rochette was an only child and was encouraged by her mother to go into figure skating to meet other children and take part in a social sport. When coaches pointed out the young skater's talent "my mother made me fierce about my sport," Rochette said.

She also said she has become closer to her father Normand, who knocked on her door at the athletes' village last Sunday morning to tell the skater her mother had died suddenly overnight.

"My father is doing better than I thought when I heard the news. I wonder, though, how he'll do when he goes home without my mom beside him. This instantly brought us closer. When I got off the ice. I saw images of him when he was watching me skate and it was like he was watching a hockey game. He was quite into it."

The Canadian Olympic Committee said Friday that Rochette's bronze medal win has sparked a flurry of e-mails and letters of support for the Canadian athlete from around the world.

When Rochette returned to the athletes village yesterday, she found a note and a bouquet of flowers from singer Celine Dion and her husband, Rene Angelil.

"My mother was a big fan of Celine Dion," Rochette said. "My mother sang many of her songs constantly. I want to thank her for that attention."

After the news conference, Rochette also took a cell phone call from Angelil, whom the skater said shared her grief and told her that Dion also lost her father before a major performance and had to cope with similar emotional lows.

Tributes from fellow athletes also continued to pour in Friday.
"That was amazing," Scott Niedermayer, captain of Team Canada, said of Rochette's medal-winning skate. "You can't comprehend that."


http://timestranscript.canadaeast.co...article/968010
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:30 AM   #17
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7wbJ...ature=featured
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #18
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She has such courage and class..she has done her country and mother very proud. regardless of any Olympic medal..
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:05 PM   #19
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and now receives the Terry Fox award:
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/olympics/...ress&type=lgns

possibly may be chosen to carry the flag in the closing ceremonies on sunday.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Joe View Post
We will be watching... she may get "The Terry Fox Award" @ the end of the olympics.
Before the sad news of her mother's death I thought that the "Terry Fox Award" would go to the lady who fell in that hole while on skis. But turned out they both got it.

Thirteen "Gold" medals tying the record, now men's hockey could break it tonight. They outplayed the USA the last time around, Brodeur was weak & the USA goalie was sharp. GO Canada GO !!!
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:52 PM   #21
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Joannie has been chosen to carry the flag in the closing ceremonies..
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:38 PM   #22
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Thats nice to know !
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj View Post
...anyhow, the race between USA and Germany for overalls medal count is exciting...the most golds won is also exciting and all that matters, imo....
oh, i didn't expect Canada to take that title when i posted that, lol...anyhow, congrats to USA and Canada for great efforts and achieving duo bragging rights

char, i heard about the flag bearer confusion also...i would be fine if they just had Alex Bilodeau's bro carry it in (cos Alex won our first gold and his bro has an even better smile than Clara Hughes, and that's hard to top )

btw, i saw Rochette's exhibition performance...she looked and skated especially wonderfully, quite artistic
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:02 PM   #24
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From no gold to record gold awarded this year is astounding. THe gold is what the athletes go for - it's the pinnacle.
It's nice that Canadian athletes and the country have been vocal and 'out there' with the attitude of wanting to win. Years past have seen us stand meekly by and politely say 'well it's all about the journey, it's a privilege to be on the team, yadda yadda yadda." And we then pilloried the poor athletes fo not winning! Holy crap. We set a goal - 'own the podium' - to some it's brash and un-canadian. well we set a goal like the aussies did - they set a goal of 60 medals when they held the olympics. Did anyone get bent out of shape over their 'expectations'??
We've been polite about our expression of wanting to win. It wasn't arrogant to put it out there - it has spurred the athletes to perform.t I heard an athlete this morning say that they never felt pressure, only support from Canadians Many of our athletes came in at silver, bronze and 4th by 10ths of a second..even 100th of a second.. that's not losing really..
We're polite when we win and when we lose. We apologize for being polite. good gawd. Unforseen things happened during the Olympics - yet other nations/broadcasters/networks say they are the worst games ever and list the weather, faulty machinery, torch lighting/ cauldrons not working, things out of the control of humans as the problem. The fencing around the huge flaming cauldron was criticized...yet if some dipshit had hurt himself in a drunken stupor there'd be hell to pay. It's a massive undertaking to host an Olympics and there is so much more that happened that was amazing, miraculous, touching, heartwarming and inspiring that can be talked about. Across the country there has been a pride not felt or shown for a long time on such a scale.
The Olympic torch relay with 12 thousand people running the torch over Canada for 45,000 km started it. What an amazing undertaking, not without it's petty controversies either but what an accomplishment.
I marvel at the sheer love of the sport that all involved have and display during the Olympics. And none moreso than the athletes themselves. They deserve to be proud of all they have invested, regardless of medals or countries they represent.
I find it all so humbling.
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