Last night spectators witnessed a spectacular event at the women’s figure skating medal event. Favourite Kim Yu-Na lived up to her star billing as she gave South Korea their first ever Olympic figure skating title with a flawless performance. The reigning world champion wiped the tears from her eyes after her spellbinding free skate at the Pacific Coliseum which gave her gold by a massive 23-point margin on her nearest challenger and longtime rival Mao Asada of Japan. World silver medalist, Joannie Rochette, who just recently lost her mother by a sudden heart attack, admitted it was a battle to compete but she had been boosted by the thousands of messages of support she received from around the world. The young skater was able to put her grief temporarily aside and pull out a gutsy performance which gaver her an Olympic bronze. Rochette revealed Thursday that her Vancouver success was predicted by her mother just days before her tragic death. She had the crowd on their feet for her gutsy performance which put Canada back on the women’s podium for the first time since Elizabeth Manley took silver at the 1988 Calgary Games.
So as the rest of the world was watching the men’s hockey match between Germany & Canada I have to admit I was encaptured by the women’s figure skating short program. It was quite a long program running up to 3 hours but the highlight of the event came with the final 3 skaters. Long time rivals, South Korean Kim Yu-Na and Japanese Mao Asada battled it out with two very fierce routines. However, no one came quite close enough to Kim’s “bond girl” dance which landed her a new world record mark of 78.50 points, a 4.74 point lead on Asada. This world champion, at the young age of 19, has dominated the season and is a hot favorite both back home in South Korea and in Canada due to the fact that she has done considerable training over here. But she showed few signs of the enormous pressure on her shoulders and confidently nailed all of her jumps whilst still keeping a her energy levels high. However, the person that truly stole the spotlight for me was Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette, who just two days ago had sadly lost her mother to a sudden heart attack just shortly after arriving in Vancouver to support her daughter. Wearing a black costume, the world silver medallist skated cleanly to her tango short programme “La Cumparsita” to the cheers of the spectators who rose to their feet at the end of her two-and-half minute routine. She hit all of her elements and tearfully finished her routine which earned her a season’s best 71.36 points and the accolades of the 11,000-plus crowd. This was definitely be a moment that will go down in Olympic history and hopefully Rochette will be able to continue on her path to the podium…Canada is really rooting for you!