Canada Mourns with Joannie Rochette

Francois GendronSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2010

The Olympic dream of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette took a dramatic turn this weekend when her mother, Therese, passed away in a Vancouver hospital after suffering from heart-related problems.

The awful news was delivered to Rochette early Sunday morning—only three days before the short program, scheduled for Tuesday evening.

Many thought that Rochette could forfeit, but the 24-year-old skater from Ile-Dupas, Quebec, decided to stick with the plan and practice to prepare herself to compete Tuesday—a lesson and a source of inspiration for all of us.

Rochette's biggest supporter during the whole length of her career was her mother. She is convinced that to compete—no matter the circumstances and the barriers—was what her mother taught her all those years.

Rochette is convinced that to compete is the best thing to do right now. She has to live her lifelong dream—knowing that somewhere, her mother is quietly watching, proud of her beautiful and strong daughter.

We will be glued to our TV screens Tuesday evening all across Canada in support of our strong, proud, and talented athlete. We will all skate with her, twirl with her, and push her higher, spin her faster, than she ever did in her career.