At one point, when the emotion of talking about her mother became too much, her coach and press attaché pulled her away and told the reporters she was finished.
But she stomped her foot in protest, making her turquoise skirt shiver, and shook her head.
’”Still, her mother would have been proud.“I’m sure that if she had seen my triple Lutz, she would have been proud,” said Rochette, who said she felt her mother’s support when her legs were trembling near the end of her program.
“I’m sure my mom was there, helping me with my last jump.”Even had she decided not to skate, Canada would have supported her.“Her not skating would have been fine,” said Teri Fisher, director of sales for Cold Fx, one of Rochette’s sponsors. She’s a true hero.” She held her poise as she had to file past the gaggles of journalists thrusting audio recorders and questions in her face.
“From a skating point of view, she was fantastic.”The judges thought so, too, giving her bronze behind Kim Yuna, whose gold was South Korea’s first Olympic medal in figure skating, and silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan.
Last March, Rochette finished second to South Korea’s Kim Yu-na at the 2009 world championships, becoming the first Canadian figure skater to win a medal at the worlds since Elizabeth Manley won silver in 1988.Her determination won out over their protective instincts, and she returned to finish her answer and take more questions.That tenacity is what enabled her to stick her jumps and execute what well may have been her best performance all season during the hardest week of her whole life.“We thought she was magnificent,” said Theresa Foy, a former competitive skater who traveled from Las Vegas, Nev., with her mother to watch.“She was my biggest fan, but also the most critical.Tonight she would have said, ‘But what about your triple flip, it was so good in practice?