Joannie Rochette - skating an emotional night

Joannie Rochette, a 24 year old from Quebec, was a 2009 World Silver medalist, and a five-time canadian champion who came to the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver as a top contender in women’s figure skating.

But only two days prior to the start of her event, she learned her mother had died of a heart attack. She had just arrived in Vancouver to watch Joannie skate.

But in spite of the heavy burden this placed on her emotions, and her mind, she kept on, eventually winning the Bronze medal.

To honor her, she was selected as Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

I was inspired and motivated by her mental and emotional toughness and her clear display of courage.

In an interview (here) she said “… the thing that I’m the most proud of is that I could step on that ice and be tough, because that’s what my mom taught me all of her life.”

It was this ability to stay focused, and to keep her mind on her task, when so many other thoughts were there to distract her that impressed me the most.

How often it is, as we set about to achieve our goals and pursue our dreams, that we are pulled and distracted. This ability to focus, when the pressure is on, and your mind wants to be elsewhere, is one of the truly inspirational highlights of a hero.

Hats off to you Joannie, and thank you for your example.


See her skate at the gala here.  See inspiring images of her emotional performance here.

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