An Olympic athlete chose to continue on her medal hunt despite facing a tragedy and will now appear during the Holiday Festival on Ice at CN Centre Dec. 5.
Joannie Rochette's mother Therese died of a sudden heart attack two days before she took to the ice for the ladies figure skating short program during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver earlier this year. Rochette was able to capture the bronze medal for her free skate in the Olympic competition and was named flag bearer during the closing ceremonies. Rochette was also named co-recipient (with Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic) of the Vancouver 2010 Terry Fox Award, named after the late Canadian amputee runner and is awarded to athletes who are the epitome of determination in motion, who pushed on no matter what the pain or obstacles in their path and inspired Canada and the world by displaying humility and selflessness in their treatment of others both on and off the field of play at the Olympic Winter Games.
Now Prince George fans can offer her their support in person when they attend this celebration on ice.
Champions Kurt Browning, Jeffrey Buttle, Sale and Pelletier, Steve Cousins will also be appearing during this world-class show.
The experience of competing through such adversity offers a different perspective on her life now, Rochette said.
"My mother was always very involved in my skating and in my life so everything she taught me in life will definitely help me live on without her," said Rochette. "I just want to enjoy my life and have fun. After the Olympics I did a lot of other sports I could not do because I was always busy training. I tried skiing for the first time because my coach was always afraid I would get injured. Golfing, tennis I tried those because I want to have a balanced life. I am now back in school, too."
Rochette has always performed in shows throughout her competitive career and she would take a a step back during intense Olympic training as that would be a very busy.
"Shows have really helped me to become the skater that I am," said Rochette. "I develop my artist side and if you can do those triple jumps in the pitch black with a spotlight in your eyes then you can definitely do them in competition. So it's helped me a lot."
One of Rochette's favourite skaters is Kurt Browning who is also in the Holiday Festival on Ice and she has been skating with him since 2003.
"He is so great to have in a show because he has so much experience and at the same time he is like a kid doing things for the first time, I mean, he is so fun to be around," said Browning. "He also likes to help a lot and he has given me a lot of advice. When I first came onto the skating scene I was so shy I would not look people in the eye and he would tell me don't be afraid to look people in the eye or giving me tips on my jumps."
Rochette will perform her part of the show to a song from One More Girl and she will also do a new number to True Colours by Cyndi Lauper.
There will also be group numbers as well as performers making appearances including George Canyon.
Tickets are for the Holiday Festival on Ice are available at all Ticketmaster outlets.