An Olympian Story – An Olympian Heart
I just watched Joannie Rochett skate her short program at the 2010 Winter Olympics. What a performance! As we all know her mother, who has been at her side throughout her skating career, died suddenly on Sunday only two days before Joannie was due to compete.
Compete she did tonight in what was possibly a career best. Moments like these cannot be reproduced in any media. The emotional response of the crowd was gripping. Who in the crowd could not be thinking of their reaction if it was their mother that died so suddenly at such a critical time as in the life of this skater?
The look on the faces of Skate Canada skaters told the story of shared pain, compassion and support. Every sports teams are families with their own dynamics and own stories. This is a story and a lesson that will last long after the joy of winning and sorrow of defeat.
Tonight Canada was part of that family and I am positive that spectators, team members and all of us watching Joannie skate held her and felt every movement she made during the short program. I have come to know that often in competition an event will occur that will show everything that is good about the human spirit. This was such an event.
This young woman set a high standard tonight on how we all can act under the most sever adversities. There is an old saying that “when the going gets tough the tough get going”. The toughness, or intestinal fortitude if you prefer, that was demonstrated tonight show what we as humans and Canadians are capable.
I have few mantras, prayers, and rituals I use to pull me through difficult times. Those times when I and anxious, unsure, fearful confused, tired, sick and the like.
Tonight as she sat waithing for her scores she constantly repeated, "For you mamma."
Tonight many Canadians will have adopted Joannie as their hero and look to her courage and dedication to give them strength when they encounter difficulties in their lives.