Vancouver (AFP) — At the end of her medal-winning skate, Joannie Rochette threw back her head and blew a kiss to the heavens.
That was for you, mom.
Four days after her mother’s death, Rochette won the women’s figure skating bronze Thursday night. It felt like gold to everyone who saw her skate — to the hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions around the world for whom the Vancouver Olympics will always be remembered, in part, for Rochette’s courage.
Her mother, who used to drive her to skating practice as a kid, died Sunday of a heart attack just a few hours after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter’s crowning moment, competing as a medal favorite at the Winter Games on home soil. Therese Rochette was 55.
“It was six in the morning when I heard the news,” the 24-year-old Rochette said, speaking publicly for the first time about her loss. “I couldn’t really believe it. They took me to the hospital to see mom’s body. I was able to say my goodbyes.”
She skated in practice that afternoon, dressed in black, wiping her eyes and taking a deep breath before stepping on the ice.
“There were moments when I said to myself, ‘I really don’t want to do this. I want to take the first plane, go home, see my grandparents, my family.’ But I said to myself that in 10 years time, when I would think about all of this and when my mourning would be over, I would probably have wished that I had skated here,” she said.
“That was the way that mom raised me, to be faithful to the person that she made of me, to make her proud.”
Mourning, in the West at least, is often a private, family affair. Rochette had to live hers in the glare of the Olympic spotlight. What strength that took.
Figure skating is not a sport that takes kindly to emotion. Skaters must bottle up their nerves, their fears, their doubts, even their grief, to complete their jumps and spins that require such total physical and mental control.
Just days after Joannie Rochette’s mother passed away, Rochette took to the ice for her Olympic short program. It was a clean skate that ended with a heart wrenching moment for all.
On Tuesday, in her short program that left few dry eyes in the house, Rochette fought back tears on the ice and wept openly when she was finished.
Those who have lost a parent were reminded of their own loss. Those who have not, wondered whether they would be so strong in the same situation.
Rochette’s third place gave her a chance in the free skate to become the first Canadian since silver medalist Liz Manley in 1988 to stand on the podium.
For four minutes, she shut her emotions off. She exchanged hand slaps with her coach, Manon Perron, before she took to the ice in a lagoon-blue dress. The crowd roared encouragement at each clean jump she executed. At the end, she blew fans a two-handed kiss and another toward the roof. She had done it. It was her best-ever free skate.
“I tried to be as cold as ice as possible. I know it’s going to sound weird but I couldn’t be out there and be just a person, I had to be Joannie the athlete,” she said. “I really tried to be strong to make my mother proud and my father who was in the stands.”
By her last jump, a triple salchow, she was drained from her week of little sleep and much sadness. “I’m sure that my mom was there lifting me up because I had no more legs,” she said.
“This is for my mom,” she said, holding up her bronze medal.
One person Rochette talked to for help and understanding this week was Sylvie Frechette, who competed as a synchronized swimmer in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics while mourning the death of her fiance.
Sports psychologist Wayne Halliwell also also spent time with Rochette, helping her to focus on her skating, not her loss.
“A lot of the words we used during the week were ‘get immersed, get absorbed, get connected and savor this special moment,’” he said.
Rochette had been relishing her Olympic moment before her mother’s death. She tweeted “Vancouver baby!” when she flew in and “What an amazing feeling to walk in the stadium!” from the opening ceremonies.
She watched Evan Lysacek skate to men’s gold and was so excited to have bumped into tennis star Marat Safin that she uploaded a photo of herself with the towering Russian. At just 5-foot-2 (1.57 meters), the top of her head did not even level with his shoulders.
She said she will stay in Vancouver until the games end Sunday.
“I want to live my Olympic experience to the full,” she said. “That is what mom would have wanted.”
It is currently 10;05 and I must so sleep now…So some of the broadcast will be live vaguely in-between the hours of 8 PM,EST and 12:30 AM, EST. I obviously will not be awake for the conclusion, however, as usual, I promise results and extensive coverage of the competition tomorrow morning. Quite exciting!
Scotty in the house!
First group warming up at 8:01 PM
Rooting for Rochette of Canada! Bless her incredibly talented heart. Ranked 2nd in the world, 3rd after the short.
Turkish skater up first in order. Fall in front of the judges on double axel. Singled a flip on what was to be a triple salchow. Scotty: “She’s lost her timing now.” Badly. She has no one to compete with at home which perhaps explains some of her mistakes etc. Capable of skating a lot better but at the Olympics, pretty impressive.
TUR TUGBA KARADEMIR 129.54
Growth spurt set her back. Triple toe-double axel (“Big!”) Lean upper body caused step out of next jump. Very expressive using arm gestures to her benefit. (Hate this has been basically reporting jumps.) Exquisitely exotic with everything finished. Good spiral sequence. Could not repeat double axel rotation, leaned back too much. Spins in lovely form at ending.
CAN CYNTHIA 156.6
Good job on opening triple salchow, great speed across the ice as well as spin transitions. Only has two triples: flip and toe loop. Used to skating for 2 mins. A bit of travelling on sit spins. Doing so well on this free program. Requirements for “free program” add to 12 elements. Just fell onto the ice, briefly sat before getting up. Looks very disappointed even for the mistake on triple toe to end up in 18th. Good for her anyhow.
AUS CHELTZIE LEE 138.16
(Scotty just annnounced Top 6 in an hour. Just what I thought.)
Scotty in the booth! Yay! <3
Required elements of course, all within 2:50.
33rd last year at worlds last year. Good on first jump combination. Movement is quite standard but nice all the same. Goal to place in top 24 as top 24 out of 30 proceed to long program. No mistakes.
AUS Cheltzee Lee 52.15 TL
Skating to Turkish music. Triple flip, double toe (fought for it). Elegant but slow spinning. Excellent back position on brief camel. Decent foot change-over in final spin combination.
(Note: Frank Carroll is really 71? I’ve been a skater and fan a long time.)
16 years old. Charming and driven. Triple lutz into double toe loop—not enough speed for triple toe loop.) Excellent flexibility on spiral sequence. Solid double axel. Very interesting spin positions—quite pristine. Her spins are perhaps the best, impressive as well as her ice coverage. Amazing final spin! She delivered! Spins so fast she caused herself a nosebleed.
USA MIRAI NAGASU 63.76
Good job, Tracy Wilson, don’t we all understand “downgrades” now?
Feb. 24. 2010
Short Program Results
(Go Joanine! And apologies for the difficult-to-read results; they should be discernable though.)
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir’s performance knocked the Russians right off their traditional spot atop the ice dance podium Monday and earned the Canadian pair an Olympic gold medal.
For only the third time since ice dance became an Olympic sport in 1976, a Russian or Soviet couple did not win the dance gold.
“I’ll probably wear it in the shower,” Moir said of his medal. “I’m not going to take it off all week.”
The Russians, reigning world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, had to settle for bronze behind two-time United States champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, giving the United States back-to-back dance medals for the first time.
“North America has really come into its own in terms of ice dance,” Davis said. “This Olympics is a little bit of a turning point again. It’s really exciting to be a part of it.”
Davis and White’s silver was the 25th medal won by the U.S., matching its record set in 2006 for medals won at a Winter Olympics away from home. The Americans are guaranteed of passing that, because the U.S. women’s hockey team can do no worse than a silver medal.
Their overall score of 221.57 and Moir jumped to his feet, screaming almost as loudly as the crowd. With Davis and White, second after the original dance, already done, Virtue and Moir knew the gold was as good as theirs, and spent a few extra minutes in Kiss and Cry, reveling in their moment.
When he finally got up to go backstage, Moir paused and stared at the Olympic rings above the runway.
After their victory lap, Moir jumped into the stands, then held up his medal so a few fans could get a closer look. But he and Virtue weren’t ready to call it a night. They sprinted back onto the ice, holding up the Canadian flag.
“Right now, Vancouver is our favorite place to be,” Virtue said. “It’s been the perfect games.”
Virtue and Moir’s program was tender and sensual. Their gentle, slow start showcased their fine skating skills, their edges so quiet and smooth they appeared to be above the ice.
They had as much power and speed as those hockey players Moir is such a fan of, but it was displayed with balletic grace. Their combination spin seemed to go on forever, with many different positions and edge changes.
In one of their lifts, Virtue looked almost angelic, balancing on Moir’s right thigh with her arms outstretched while he stayed in a deep-kneed spread eagle before she flipped down into his arms.
While Virtue and Moir were all softness and grace, Davis and White’s “Phantom of the Opera” was big and bold. They used their music perfectly, flying across the ice in the fast part and using deep edges and soft knees to convey romance and lyricism in the slow parts.
Their lifts were done at breakneck speed yet with perfect control. On one, White flipped Davis over his shoulder so that she was facing the opposite direction. He then picked up his right leg and crossed it behind him as she opened her arms, that platform-like leg of his the only thing keeping her from plunging to the ice.
Their twizzles were perfectly synchronized, yet they never lost a second of their speed.
Their only flaw was a deduction, likely for an extended lift. But it wouldn’t have made a difference in the final results.
Davis and White were well aware of what was at stake for the U.S. Olympic team after passing a wall in the Olympic village celebrating all of the American medals.
“Every time you pass it, it seems like there are so many more,” Davis said. “For us to be a part of that, it’s really exciting.”
Domnina and Shabalin’s routine was very theatrical and highly entertaining. But ice dance has moved way beyond the theater it was 10 years ago. The sport now requires good, old-fashioned skating skills, power and innovation, and Domnina and Shabalin didn’t quite have it.
As always, I will update as much live as I can. All results and spin-off stories ending the Ice Dance portion of these events in Vancouver will be up as early as possible. (If they don’t get underway before 9:30, that’s a night and a coming morning, ok?)
…For those who don’t know much about the discipline of Ice Dance, I thought now a good time as ever to briefly educate—even on the scoring! And a nice photo of Mao Asada displaying her incredible flexibility and spinning skills. (If the photograph doesn’t show up, per usual, click the blue box.)
Mao Asada of Japan performs during the Ladies Free Skating competition at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in Jeonju, south of Seoul, January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak
The Olympic figure skating competition consists of four medal events: ladies’ singles, men’s singles, pairs, and ice dancing
There are three phases of competition in ice dancing: the compulsory dance, the original dance and the free dance.
Compulsory dance: Prior to the first official practice session at the 2010 Games, the compulsory dance to be performed will be drawn. The compulsory dance involves the skating of prescribed patterns to music, the rhythm and tempo of which are defined.
Original dance: A couple skates a dance of its own creation to dance music it has selected for the designated rhythm, which in Vancouver will be a Folk/Country Dance. The dance must reflect the character of the prescribed rhythm while demonstrating technical skill, flow and use of edges. The original dance typically yields some of the best (or worst) costumes of the Games.
Free dance: A couple skates a creative program with dance steps and movements expressing the character of the music they have chosen. while skating within the guidelines of what the International Skating Union considers a “well-balanced program.”
Original Dance Free Dance
varies 2:20-2:40 3:50-4:10
8:49 PM, EST: Now we await the start of the Olympic Ice Dance Free Dance.
FINAL NOT REACHED PIEMAN Isabelle46.10(25)46.10WRX
By NANCY ARMOUR, AP National Writer
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—Ursula Andress, Jane Seymour, Halle Berry— they’ve got nothing on the newest Bond Girl.
Nobody does it better than Kim Yu-na.
The South Korean skater delighted fans and judges alike with a playfully sexy and sophisticated James Bond medley Tuesday night in the women’s short program, shrugging off the enormous expectations that come with being the biggest favorite since Katarina Witt in 1988. Her score of 78.5 points not only shattered her own world record, it put her almost five points ahead of longtime rival—and chief threat—Mao Asada of Japan.
“I had waited a long time for the Olympics,” Kim said. “I had ample time to practice and prepare, so I wasn’t shaky or nervous just because it was the Olympics. I was able to relax and enjoy the competition.”
Despite Kim’s cushion, this one isn’t over. With two triple axels planned, Asada can make up the difference in Thursday night’s free skate, setting up the best showdown in figure skating since the “Battle of Brians,” the epic duel at the Calgary Games between Brian Boitano and Brian Orser—appropriate, considering Orser is Kim’s coach.
Not surprising, either, considering the 19-year-olds have been trading titles since their junior days. Kim and Asada have combined to win the last two world championships and five Grand Prix final titles.
“Usually I think there’s like a 10-point difference,” Asada said. “So I feel good there’s only this difference between myself and Yu-na.”
“It was hard to handle, but I appreciate the support,” Rochette said through Skate Canada.
As she took her starting pose, Rochette composed herself and let her training mask her grief. But when her music ended, she sharply exhaled and doubled over, no longer able to hold back the tears. She tried to smile as she waved, to no avail, and buried her head in longtime coach Manon Perron’s shoulder when she left the ice.
“I watched her when she was getting ready to skate and she looked like she was struggling emotionally,” Skate Canada CEO William Thompson said. “I think her mother’s jumping up and down in the sky. That was the dream performance.”
Japan’s Miki Ando, the 2007 world champion, is fourth, followed by the two young Americans, Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu—who fared far better than she expected after getting a bloody nose once the ice.
“Halfway through the program, I felt it running down my nose and just said, `Don’t stop, keep going,”’ Nagasu said. “I skated the best I can.”
Just a point separates Ando, Flatt and Nagasu. But with Ando 6.6 points behind Rochette, it’s going to take a fantastic skate—and mistakes by at least one of the top three—for Ando, Flatt or Nagasu to medal.
For Kim, gold is the goal.
She arrived in Vancouver with the greatest expectations of any single athlete. The reigning world champion is a rock star in her native South Korea, dubbed “Queen Yu-na” and so wildly popular she can’t leave her parents’ house without bodyguards. Though South Korea has piled up plenty of medals—10 here in Vancouver, as of Tuesday night—the country has yet to win anything in any winter sport besides speedskating and short track.
But if Kim was feeling the heat, she didn’t let it show.
“I didn’t think that this is the Olympics or I have to be perfect,” said Kim, who trains in Toronto and competed in Vancouver a year ago. “It wasn’t that special a feeling, it was the same as other competitions. So I was very comfortable, like the other competitions.”
Skating right after Asada, Kim showed no reaction when she heard her rival’s marks. When the rowdy cheers finally faded, she simply took her spot at the end of the rink, slowly unfurled one arm, cocked her index finger like a gun and turned her head to give the judges a sly, seductive smile.
“It was perfect that she skated right after Mao,” Orser said, “because she’s a competitor. She’s very fierce.”
Kim doesn’t have Asada’s triple axel—few women in the world do—but her jumps are no less impressive. She goes into them full speed and her triple lutz-triple toe combination was done with perfect timing and smoothness, like a rock skipping across the water. Her spins show so much flexibility they’d make Gumby green with envy.
But what makes her so captivating is her presentation. Anyone who complains that figure skating has lost its sizzle hasn’t seen Kim skate. She played the Bond Girl to the hilt, rubbing her hand up one thigh while she was in front of the judges, fixing them with a flirtatious look.
When she saw her marks—2.22 points better than her previous record—she gave an easy smile as if she expected it all along.
“It was a really good vehicle for her, because she likes to skate a character piece, especially for the short program because it can be such a nerve-racking experience,” Orser said. “She likes to show off. She certainly did, she was beautiful.”
Asada’s program was in sharp contrast to Kim’s, playful and light. The highlight was, of course, that triple axel, which she did in combination with a double toe. The jump is so difficult few women even try it, yet Asada rips it off like it’s a single. She’s not just a jumping bean, though.
She was so in tune with her “Masquerade Waltz” that, during her footwork sequence, she did a little hop and an illusion—swooping her head and torso down while her leg is kicking up—just as the music lifted. She beamed during her spiral sequence, which seemed to go on forever.
Asada clasped her hands together and hopped up and down when she finished, giving the cheering crowd a slight bow as she left the ice. She looked stunned when her marks were announced, turning to coach Tatiana Tarasova as if to say, “Is that good?”
“I was nervous at the beginning but then I realized I’m here at the Olympics and I’m skating,” Asada said. “That made me very happy and confident.
February 22, 2010, 4:15 pm
A Look at the Women’s Figure Skating Contenders
By JULIET MACUR
Click on the blue boxes to see photos…
Women’s figure skating, often the marquee event of the Winter Olympics, begins Tuesday with the short program. Thirty skaters will have a maximum of 2 minutes 50 seconds to deliver a routine that has eight required elements, including jumps, spins and spirals. The short-program session is from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, Eastern time. NBC will have some live coverage on the East Coast from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Thursday, in the free skate, or long program, each competitor will have four minutes to make her final case for a medal. The free skate is scheduled for 8 p.m. to midnight Eastern time, and NBC will have some live coverage.
A look at some of the top skaters, in the order in which they will perform in the short program:
Mirai Nagasu, 16, United States (skating 11th)
Short program “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer.
Long program music from the opera “Carmen.”
Nagasu had a shaky season after winning the national championship in 2008 because a growth spurt disrupted her jumps. She is back on track, though, and finished second at the nationals last month.
Elene Gedevanishvili, 20, Georgia (16th)
Short program: “Fever” by Davenport
Long program: “Carmen” by Georges Bizet
Gedevanishvili finished sixth in the short program at the 2006 Turin Games, and 10th over all. She was also 10th at the 2009 worlds. She is coached by Robin Wagner, who coached Sarah Hughes to an Olympic gold medal in 2002.
Mao Asada, 19, Japan (22nd)
Short program: “Waltz Masquerade” by Aram Khachaturian.
Long program: “Bells of Moscow” by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Asada, the 2008 world champion, is known for her execution of the triple axel, a jump that is difficult even for some men. She performed two of them to win the Four Continents event last month, which gave her confidence coming in here.
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Kim Yu-na, 19, South Korea (23rd)
Short program: A medley from James Bond films.
Long program: “Concerto in F” by George Gershwin.
All eyes are on Kim, the reigning world champion, who has lost just once in nearly two years. She is the favorite to win the gold medal, but the pressure on her is immense. She is expected to bring South Korea its first figure skating gold.
Akiko Suzuki, 24, Japan (24th)
Short program: “Andalucia” and “Firedance” by Bill Whelan.
Long program: “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.
Suzuki stopped skating for an entire season in 2003-4 while battling anorexia. She has come back stronger than ever. Leading up to the Games, she won the Grand Prix event in Beijing and finished third in the Grand Prix final.
Alena Leonova, 19, Russia (25th)
Short program: “Barynia” (Russian folk music)
Long program: the soundtrack from “Chicago”
Leonova finished seventh at the 2009 world championships, but skated well in Grand Prix events last fall. She was the runner-up at the NHK Trophy in Tokyo, and was third at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Joannie Rochette, 24, Canada (26th)
Short program: “La Cumparsita” by Gerardo Hernan Matos Rodriguez.
Long program: “Samson and Delilah” by Camille Saint-Saens.
Rochette, the silver medalist at the 2009 worlds, was considered a medal contender entering the Games. Her mother died suddenly on Sunday; Rochette still plans to compete.
Rachael Flatt, 17, United States (28th)
Short program: “Sing Sing Sing” by Louis Prima.
Long program: “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” and “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Variation XVIII by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Known for her consistency and ability to knock off triple jump after triple jump, Flatt is the 2010 United States champion. Her fifth place finish at the 2009 world championships was the highest placement for an American women’s singles skater.
Carolina Kostner, 23, Italy (29th)
Short program: Nocturne No. 20 by Frederic Chopin and Violin Concerto by Peter I. Tchaikovsky.
Long program: “Air” by Bach and “Cello Concerto by Vivaldi.
Kostner, the runner-up at the 2008 worlds, is the three-time and reigning European champion, but has been plagued by inconsistency. She was 12th at the 2009 worlds and ninth at the 2006 Turin Games.
Itsuo Inouye/Associated Press
Miki Ando, 22, Japan (30th)
Short program: “Requiem” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Long program: “Rome” (soundtrack); “Marco Polo” (soundtrack) by Ennio Morricone; “Mission Cleopatra” from the film “Asterix and Obelix” (soundtrack) by Philippe Chany.
Ando, the 2007 world champion, was crushed after finishing 15th at the 2006 Olympics and is out for redemption. She won both of her Grand Prix assignments in 2009 and was the runner-up at the Grand Prix final. She also is the only woman ever to land a quadruple salchow in competition.
My sympathies are with the family…
Rochette still plans to compete at Olympics
(AFP) Joannie Rochette was right where her mother would have wanted her to be.
Hours after her mother died of a massive heart attack, Rochette eased onto the ice at Pacific Coliseum to practice Sunday. It was a profile in courage and devotion by Canada’s hope for a women’s figure skating gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics.
Dressed in black, Rochette wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. She briefly waved to her father, Normand, who was in the stands, then went about her business with the heaviest of hearts.
“I didn’t expect her to come,” said Swiss skater Sarah Meier , one of the other five skaters in the session. “I think I wouldn’t be able to do the same thing if I was in her situation.”
Therese Rochette, 55, died just a few hours after arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter compete. Her daughter still plans to skate in the short program Tuesday night. As the reigning world silver medalist, she is Canada’s best chance to win an Olympic medal since Liz Manley took the silver in 1988, the last time the games were in Canada.
“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 Joannie’s “No. 1 fan,” Skate Canada president Benoit Lavoie said. It was her mom who shuttled her back and forth to the rink when Rochette was younger.
Joannie Rochette’s performance from Improv-Ice.
Joannie Rochette, 6-time Canadian champion and current World silver medalist, is expected to be a medal threat in Vancouver.
“Joannie is doing as well as one can expect. It has been an emotional roller coaster for her,” Skate Canada CEO William Thompson said. “She made the decision that she wants to compete and maintain her training schedule. It is providing her with stability in a very uncertain time of her life.”
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 wife passed out, and rushed her to Vancouver General, where Skate Canada said she was pronounced dead.
Normand Rochette went to the Olympic village early Sunday to break the news to his daughter.
“It’s a tragedy. I’m sort of in shock by it,” said Brian Orser, who got to know Rochette’s parents when he was touring with her on “Stars on Ice” in Canada. “I’m proud of her that she is continuing to compete because she’s a great competitor and she’s in great shape. And she’s skating for the right reasons.”
After spending the morning with her father and longtime coach Manon Perron, Rochette appeared in the runway as the rest of the skaters in her practice session took the ice.
Wearing black tights and a black Canadian team hoodie, Rochette swiped at her eyes and then paused at the boards, gathering herself. When she skated over to Perron to drop off her guards, Perron pointed out where here father was sitting. Rochette turned and gave a little wave to him — he was the only spectator allowed in the building when it was cleared for the security sweep before the original dance.
Though she was blinking hard her first few laps around the ice, Rochette quickly settled into her practice routine. She showed no lapses in concentration, jumped well and did a light run-through of her tango short program, even flashing a saucy smile at one point. In the stands, her father repeatedly rubbed his eyes.
The few people in the rink applauded when Rochette finished her program, and again as she left the ice.
“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.”
Rochette plans to stay in the athletes’ village, but has been offered her own room by Skate Canada. She had been rooming with Canadian ice dancer Tessa Virtue .
“It’s devastating,” Virtue said. “Our hearts go out to Joannie and her family. It’s so tough.”
World champion Kim Yu-na, who trains with Orser in Toronto, said she “really felt sorry” for Rochette.
Added U.S. champion Rachael Flatt ”That’s really hard. I can’t imagine losing your mother, let alone at the Olympics.”
—last-minute courtesy NBC