Joannie Rochette provided one of the defining moments of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. She won bronze for Canada’s first Olympic medal in women’s figure skating since Elizabeth Manley’s silver at Calgary 1988, but it was her incredible strength in the most tragic of circumstances that endeared her to the nation.
Just two days before she was to skate her short program, Rochette’s mother Therese passed away from a heart attack not long arriving in Vancouver. Rochette chose to honour her biggest supporter and compete. With the entire country behind her, she performed a personal best short program. Two days later, her free skate secured her spot on the podium.
Despite the record number of gold medals won by Canadians at Vancouver 2010, it was Rochette who was given the honour of carrying the maple leaf at the Closing Ceremony.
Rochette had entered Vancouver 2010 as the reigning world silver medallist. That had also ended a lengthy podium drought for Canada in the women’s singles event, dating back to Manley’s silver in 1988.
Rochette won six straight national titles from 2005 to 2010. She made her Olympic debut at Turin 2006, where she finished fifth. Rochette qualified for the ISU Grand Prix final three times in her career, highlighted by a bronze medal at the event in December 2004. She won three straight medals at the Four Continents Championships from 2007 to 2009.
After her final competitive performance at Vancouver 2010, Rochette skated in various shows and tours before choosing to enroll in medical school at McGill University in 2015. She graduated in April 2020.
|2006 Turin||Figure Skating||Singles - Women||5|
|2010 Vancouver||Figure Skating||Singles - Women||Bronze|
Notable International Results
ISU World Championships: 2009 (Los Angeles, USA): Silver 2008 (Gothenburg, SWE): 5th 2007 (Tokyo, JPN):10th 2006 (Calgary, AB): 7th 2005 (Moscow, RUS): 11th 2004 (Dortmund, GER): 8th 2003 (Washington D.C., USA): 17th
2009-10: Canadian champion ... On Grand Prix circuit, won gold at Skate Canada International, bronze at Cup of China ... At Grand Prix Final, was 5th. 2008-09: First Canadian woman in 21 years to win medal at WC, capturing silver (03/28/09) ... Won silver at ISU Four Continents event ... Canadian champion ... Finished fourth at Grand Prix Final ... Finished second in singles at World Team Trophy in Tokyo ... Won gold at Trophée Eric Bompard (Grand Prix) and Skate Canada International. 2007-08: Finished 5th at WC ... Won silver at ISU Four Continents ... Canadian champion ... Won bronze at Cup of Russia. 2006-07: Finished 10th at WC ... Captured bronze at ISU Four Continents ... Canadian champion ... Finished 4th at Trophée Eric Bompard. 2005-06: First-time Olympian, finished 5th ... Finished 7th at WC ... Canadian Champion ... Finished 4th at Trophée Eric Bompard ... Captured gold at Skate Canada International. 2004-05: Placed 11th at WC ... Won bronze at ISU Grand Prix Final, biggest career result to date ... Won gold at Trophée Cachemire ... Won bronze at Cup of China ... Canadian champion. 2003-04: Finished 8th at WC ... Placed 4th at ISU Four Continents ... Was second at Canadian Championships ... Finished 4th at Cup of Russia. 2002-03: At first WC, finished 17th ... Finished 8th at ISU Four Continents ... Was second at Canadian Championships ... Won gold at Brofost Cup. 1998-02: Finished 6th at 2002 Junior WC ... Finished 9th at 2002 ISU Four Continents ... Novice Canadian champion in 2000, junior champion in 2001 and third in senior in 2002.