Vancouver 2010 Olympics – Tragedy strikes Joannie Rochette

Tragedy strikes Joannie Rochette

The Globe and Mail
By Rod Mickleburgh and Beverley Smith, The Globe and Mail Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 1:12 PM ET

The mother of Canadian figure skating champion and Olympic medal hopeful Joannie Rochette died suddenly in Vancouver Sunday morning, shortly after arriving to watch her daughter compete.

Canadian team officials said Therese Rochette passed away after being rushed to Vancouver General Hospital.

Rochette died of a heart attack. She was 55.

Joannie Rochette was given the news by her father Normand and her coach Manon Perron at the Olympic Village Sunday morning around 6 a.m.

Officials said Rochette intends to compete at the Olympics, despite the shock of her mother’s death. The short program for women’s figure skating begins Tuesday night at Pacific Coliseum. The free skate, after which medals are awarded, is scheduled for Thursday. Rochette, 24, will skate 26th of 30 skaters Tuesday night. (click here to read more…)