Sunday, February 28, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHOWN - BRONZE, SCHMONZE ... JOANNIE'S PURE GOLD

Many have already said this, but if you haven’t been deeply moved by the story of Joannie Rochette, you’d better check for a pulse. The Montreal figure skater has captured the hearts of the nation with her medal-winning display of incredible poise, focus and determination amid unimaginable grief following the sudden death of her mother in Vancouver earlier this week. Steeling herself, Rochette turned in two career-best performances and landed on the podium with Canada’s first figure skating (bronze) medal since Elizabeth Manley’s surprise star turn in Calgary back in 1988. Afterward, she spoke to reporters, demonstrating grace equal to that which she showed on the ice. “I feel proud, and the result didn’t matter, but I’m happy to be on the podium,” she said. “That was my goal coming here. It’s been a lifetime project with my mom, and we achieved that.” Other quotes: “She was my biggest fan, my best friend. She was with me every step of the way.” Lovely, and endearing, but also this: “And even though she’s not here anymore, and I’m not afraid to say it, sometimes she was a pain in the ass,” Rochette said, as CNN noted, “laughing, probably for the first time in days.” Bravery, grace under pressure, and still a sense of humour. The medal may be bronze, but Joannie’s pure gold.

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