joannie rochette 320 2010 Winter Olympics: Joannie Rochette's emotional short programCanadian skater Joannie Rochette performed her short figure skating program Tuesday night (Feb. 23) amidst heartbreak.

The Olympian’s mother Therese had died only a few days before of a heart attack while in Vancouver supporting her daughter.

Nevertheless, Rochette decided to soldier on and when Tuesday’s short program began, the world watched as she delivered a strong and skillful program. A consummate professional, she embodied the Olympic spirit in all ways.

Everyone seemed to hold their breath, willing Rochette a perfect and clean routine. Even the usually chatty commentators fell silent out of respect for Rochette’s endeavor. And when she finished and struck her final, triumphant pose, the world celebrated with her even as she then broke and displayed her fragile emotional state. Check out NBC’s video of Joannie Rochette’s short program.

joannie rochette 350 2010 Winter Olympics: Joannie Rochette's emotional short program
You can even hear in Scott Hamilton’s voice how affected he was by the performance.

Rochette finished the night with her personal best score and in third place. She’ll return for the free skate, which is scheduled for Thursday in primetime.

Did you watch Rochette skate?

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Photo credits: Getty

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen