Olympics: Joannie Rochette wiped her eyes and took a deep breath before stepping on the ice.
Early Sunday, Rochette’s mother, Therese, died of a massive heart attack just a few hours after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter compete. The Canadian star still plans to skate, and was at practice in the afternoon after spending time at the Olympic village with her father, Normand.
“She’s going to get through this,” Canadian teammate Cynthia Phaneuf said. “She is just so strong. By being here and being able to compete after that happened, I’m just very impressed. I think she’s doing the right thing. She won’t get any stronger in her room.”
The women’s event begins Tuesday with the short program. Rochette will not speak publicly until she finishes competing, Skate Canada president Benoit Lavoie said.
“She’s so close to her mother, I think she doesn’t even entertain not skating,” said David Baden, Rochette’s agent. “She’s a tough fighter. It’s got to be hard to switch gears and say no to (the Olympics). This is what she has been training for all these years. She’ll be trying to fulfill the goal they had together.”
The 24-year-old skater is the couple’s only daughter. Therese Rochette was her daughter’s “No. 1 fan,” Lavoie said, and was always there for her.
Rochette had been in Vancouver since the opening ceremony, and her parents arrived Saturday from their home in Montreal. They visited Canada House and then went back to the apartment where they’re staying. Normand Rochette later found his 55-year-old wife passed out, and rushed her to Vancouver General, where she was pronounced dead.
Vikings’ Allen talks trashy
Marketing: Jared Allen certainly won’t take long to mullet over.
As the Vikings defensive end, one of the finalists to grace the box of Madden NFL 11 video game, told ESPN.com: “If I make the cover, I’m going to straighten my mullet and make it as trashy as possible. You have to highlight the tools that got you there.”
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