I will mourn forever - do you hear me? - for you, alone, in Paradise.
-The Monogram, by Greek Nobel Laureate Odysseas Elytis
The Winter Olympics may feel remote near the Equator, but the courage of Canadian figure-skater Joannie Rochette is making eyes tear in Bogota nonetheless. 24-year-old Rochette's mother suddenly passed away due to a massive heart attack two days before her daughter was due to compete in the Ladies Short Figure-Skating Program in the Vancouver Olympic Games. After a very emotional performance punctuated with remarkable poise and discipline, Joannie Rochette ranked in third place, which she managed to maintain following the completion of the Long Program tonight, hence earning herself an Olympic bronze medal.
Commentators have wondered how she has been able to walk back onto the ice after she lost the figure who, by her own admission, had been her biggest cheerleader and most enthusiastic supporter. Rochette returned to what she knew, what she loved, what she and her mother had been striving toward for years. I admire her determination, resilience and, most of all, her uninhibited display of emotion, fragility, pain, love and reminiscence. Joannie Rochette is a humbling, moving, and inspiring lesson in courage.
For viewers within the US, Joannie Rochette's Short Program is available here.