Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Hot: Canadian Figure Skater Joannie Rochette

Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette lost her mother on Sunday, then skated on Tuesday and Thursday. Ms. Rochette earned her personal best figure skating scores, good for an Olympic Bronze Medal.

In last night's performance, Ms. Rochette had a slip early. The crowd gasped, and I was suddenly nervous, and moved to the edge of my seat: I did not want Ms. Rochette to melt down during her performance. It was okay with me if she didn't skate great, but I did not want a melt down. Ms. Rochette hung in, producing a gritty, gutty performance. Bravo.

photo by AP

Kim Yu-Na of South Korea won gold. She produced the highest ever Olympic score - in what the TV skating commentator called "one of the greatest Olympic performances I have ever seen". Here's what it looked like in the moment immediately after her performance ended.

all remaining photos by Getty Images

And, in the very next moment, tears began to spill. I think, when you do something great, and you become nakedly aware of who you truly are, there is nothing to do but cry.

The United States had young skaters finish in 4th place and in 7th place. Mirai Nagasu, 4th place, is 16 years old. American champion Rachael Flatt, 7th place, is 18 years old, and supposedly deserved better from the judges.

Mirai Nagasu is one of those persons who is blessed with effervescent personality. She sparkles from within. It's a gift.

One more of Mira Nagasu ...

Can't even describe HOW MUCH I love this photo ...

the old coach and the young athlete: the last, last moment before the performance. He's coached her all the way to this point; has given her the knowledge he used up his life to acquire.

He can't help her any more after this. She is on her own.

It's also pure Norman Rockwell: the European man and the Asian girl - Americans both, through and through. Ours is a fabulous nation.

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