Figure skater Joannie Rochette may have received a bronze medal last night, but what she won transcended well beyond the podium.
Yesterday, the Inspiration Report touched on Rochette’s personal triumph–her ability to keep skating despite her mother’s death, skating being a way to honor her mother’s memory, love, and spirit. Rochette was able to call on an inner courage and strength to focus her mind on the rink and to channel her grief in a positive way by remaining dedicated to everything she and her mom worked for since Turin.
“That was the way that mom raised me, to be faithful to the person that she made of me, to make her proud.” (Austin News KXAN.com)
In her long program, as Rochette skated to music from “Samson and Delilah,” the audience continued to remain enthusiastic, involved, and engaged. “I stepped on the ice and my legs were shaking. My mum was there with me for every step…giving me strength.” (ABC-CBN News.com) To show their support, the audience clapped and cheered after every successful landing of every jump. The stadium’s spark increased during Rochette’s heartfelt ending when she kissed her hands and stretched them out to the heavens in dedication to her mom.
After her short program a few days ago, she was in third place. After her long program, she retained the spot to secure a bronze medal. Her bronze means more than the gold and silver because it was achieved through a heartbreaking haze of personal tragedy. She wasn’t skating to please her fans or her coach or her endorsers or her fellow countrymen or even herself; she was skating for love and for someone truly close to her heart, her mother.
She poured out her feelings of grief and love through her movements on ice and showed a world closely observing her what it meant to grieve with dignity and determination. What she really won in the end was a stronger sense of self, the knowledge that she has the bravery to leap and glide past media scrutiny and skating rivalries, and the ability to hold herself together without dissolving to pieces and remain triumphant till the end.
Receiving the bronze medal and wiping away the tears that came from her victory, Rochette said simply, “This is for my mom.” (Austin News KXAN.com)
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