This has been a tough week for Canadian Olympic skater, Joannie Rochette. She has shown courage in the face of challenge. In training and building for the 2010 Olympics, her mother had been the mainstay of support for Joannie. In normal fashion, her parents arrived Saturday to cheer her on. Tragically within a short time of arrival in Vancouver, her father found her mother unconscius on their hotel room floor. Although he issued CPR and paramedics responded promptly, her mother still died from a heart attack.
This situation reminded me of my mother’s death in 1984. Although she had cancer, I had just spoken with her on a Wednesday night. At four am the next morning, the call came. She was gone. Not much in life is as painful as the death of a mother for a woman. I was getting my Ph.D. at the time. My mother had been my biggest supporter. I was also due to take a test for my marriage and family license two days after the call. What to do? The time had arrived to hold my head high and perform as mom would have wanted. Although not anywhere near the magnitude of performing in the Olympics, Joanie’s pain must be immense as mine was. My heart goes out to her. The courage it took Joannie to carry on is nothing short of heroic. Probably just what her mother would have wanted her to do. She performed magically. After the short, she stands in third. We will all be routing for you just as your mother would have done. Your courage shows the Olympic spirit.