Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympic Inspiration - Joannie Rochette

I was going to post about my new kitchen. I worked on the blog post last night while I watched the Olympics, and then it became clear that another story was more pressing on my heart…and probably the world’s heart.

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics have been pretty typical as far as comeback stories, rival countries, and suspenseful moments.

However, I was riveted two days ago when I heard the sad news about a figure skater who had lost her mother unexpectedly when she arrived in Vancouver. Even though this young woman was facing unimaginable pain, she was still planning on skating to honor her mother.

Now, we hear about athletes performing their sports through pain or injury all of the time. Even Lindsey Vaunn and her shin injury have made for emotional victories. But the muscle that is the hardest to ignore, mask, or let the adrenalin push you through is the heart.

Joannie Rochette’s was broken, and she still skated her personal best. The world watched last night, and we all held our breath and prayed for her while she glided across the ice. Her face filled with emotion and fighting back tears. Her anguish could not be covered by her sparkly costume and bright music, but she held it back until the very end of her routine…and then she cried…and then I cried, and then the whole world cried. It was a moment. It was a moment because she shared her very personal story with us - the world.

Her skate will not be remembered for fancy never-before-seen tricks or celebrity, but more importantly because she skated for the love of her mother - the most universal love of all.

Long after the torch is extinguished and the athletes have gone home. Long after the media has covered every story; celebrated every victory and commiserated every lost.

There will be a young woman who will finally be able to let her heart grieve, and we will still be touched by her courage, strength, and true endurance.

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