Friday, February 26, 2010

Female Skating Olympians

The female figure skating competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics is now over with the long program completed last night in Vancouver. Kim Yu-Na of South Korea, who is coached by the Canadian, Brian Orser, scored a record number of points during the competition, and received the gold medal, followed by Mao Asada of Japan, with the silver medal, and Joannie Rochette of Canada, with the bronze.

Joannie Rochette's mother passed away last Sunday of a massive heart attack at age 55, shortly after arriving in Vancouver to watch the Olympic Games. Joannie competed two days afterwards in the short program and last night clinched the bronze medal. To be able to compete and to excel, under such trying circumstances, is the mark of a true Olympian and a champion. Joannie said that she tried to make her mother proud. Joannie's mother had told her a week ago that she was certain that she would receive a medal at the Olympics.

Our hearts go out to Joannie and to her father, Normand Rochette, for their tremendous loss.

Rachel Flatts, the American figure skater, who is 17 years old, and about whom I have written in an earlier post, placed 7th (she was downgraded several points, for reasons not completely clear), but, nevertheless, she received her first acceptance letter from a college and it was from Stanford University! Nagasu, her teammate, placed 4th, which is also a great achievement.

One skater, whose specialness also showed on the ice, was the skater who represents Turkey, Tugba Karademir. Her parents gave up their great professions and careers in Turkey and moved to Canada so that she could train there. Some generous benefactor paid for them to be able to attend the games in Vancouver (they could not afford to see her skate at the Winter Olympics in Torino 4 years ago). It was very special to see her parents smiling and waving the Turkish flag in the stands as they cheered their daughter on.

The complete female figure skating results can be found here.

Speaking of another "on the ice" competition at the Vancouver Olympics yesterday, the US women's hockey team was beaten by Canada in the finals. The Olympic US women's hockey team has many players who played on prep school high school teams in the Northeast and several who went to Harvard. Nevertheless, the US team garnered a silver medal!

As the Olympics start drawing to a close we extend our heartiest congratulations to all the competitors!