Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Courage was visible on Olympic ice last night in the person of a 23 year old young woman, dressed in sequins and skating the program of a lifetime, despite the death of her mother 2 days previously. And she skated brilliantly, ending up in third place surpassed only by the incandescent Kim YuNa and the triple jump diva Mao Asada. While I am absolutely certain that the Gold will be won by Kim YuNa, I would be so stoked if ultimately the Silver goes to Joanie Rochette.

This was a true Olympic moment - not a quest for self-aggrandizement (are you listening Yvgeni Plushenko and Maxim Shabolin?) or national glory. This was a well-trained and talented athlete fulfilling a dream she shared with her late mother on the biggest stage of all. If you weren't in tears watching it, you aren't human.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of last night's skating performance by Rochette is that she worked very, very hard to not milk the emotional impact of her skating and that the Canadian audience absolutely went berserk when she stepped onto the ice and after she skated as well they should have done.

I was touched, moved and ultimately cheering for Joanie Rochette. She won't win gold but she has already won the respect and admiration of an awful lot of people.

I have also learned enormous respect and admiration for our two skaters, Rachel Flatt and Mirai Nagasu. Rachel skates as though she's on her home rink just flying around - she is as solid as a rock and as dependable as one. There's no evidence of nerves or self-doubt. And her technique and execution - while still a little rough around the edges - displays a confidence and security that is rather remarkable, given her relative youth. Mirai Nagasu, plagued by a nosebleed part way through her program, still managed to power her way through the adversity with style, skill and charm. She has a bright future in this sport. Both our skaters are in the final group and that is both a surprise and a pleasure to me. They won't win, although I wouldn't mind it if Rachel Flatt edged Mao Asada off the podium! (Can you tell I do NOT like Mao Asada - who, like Plushenko, seems to think that one jump should entitle her to victory - pfui!).

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