Joannie Rochette's Grief, Fellow Figure Skaters Offer Support
Figure Skating is not all about fierce competition
There was speculation as to whether she was going to stay in the Olympic Games after her mother's death, but she competed in the short program and intends in to compete in the long program on Thursday night.
- Joannie Rochette Short Program - Performance After Mother's Death
- Joannie Rochette's Mother Therese Dies Days Before Event
She scored a personal best of 71.36 on Tuesday and she is currently sitting in third position. Her competitors however have rallied around Rochette and offered their support and words of encouragement despite her being a huge rival for them.
Akiko Suzuki from Japan spoke through a translator to NBC and held back tears as she spoke of Rochette's performance:
"What I think ... is that skating right now for her is the best thing that she can do for her Mom," Suzuki said through a translator, nodding emphatically as her words were being converted from Japanese to English.
"I think it's great that she is skating and that she is doing her best right now. And I would like to pay my condolences," said the Japanese skater, in 11th position after the short program.
Laura Lepisto from Finland spoke of the atmosphere at training after everyone heard the news:
"I think the atmosphere was of course a little bit down at the practices," Lepisto said. "But I think the whole Canadian crowd is really supporting her here."
Kim Yu-Na from South Korea, currently sitting in first place after the short program and who skated before Rochette said:
"I had a similar difficult situation about two years ago, a personal situation during a very important international competition," the South Korean skater said through a translator, without elaborating on the nature of the situation.
"And I fully understand how she feels and I'm sure she'll overcome the difficulties."
Every skater spoke of how much support they want Rochette to feel that she has and it seems everyone is behind this young Canadian woman who is competing under such tragic and difficult circumstances.