Congratulations to Yu Na Kim, Mao Asada and Joannie Rochette

What an amazing night of Ladies Figure Skating for the Long Program at the Vancouver Olympics.

Gold Medalist Kim Yu Na of Korea
skated brilliantly with no mistakes.  Her fluidity, ease, grace and artistry were incredible.  She made it all seem so easy, so simple.  With her balletic grace she literally flowed across the ice.  A magnificent performance.  I love that one of my favorite skaters, Olympic Silver Medalist in 1984 and 1988, Canadian Brian Orser, coaches her.  He has done a wonderful job.  While I loved her long program, I liked  her short program, in which she skated to Bond music, even more.  Her flirtatious personality really came out and she really looked like a Bond girl on ice.  She must be thrilled to have claimed not only the Gold medal, but also set a record for having the highest skating score ever, and winning the first Gold medal in Ladies Figure Skating for Korea.  Congratulations, and thank you for a wonderful display of beauty and grace on ice.

Here’s Kim Yu Na skating to the James Bond medley  (This is from Grand Prix — but is the same program as in Olympics)

Silver Medalist Mao Asada of Japan
skated beautifully and has set a new record for being the first woman ever to land 3 triple axels in the same competition.  She had a couple of slip-ups in her program but her fire and determination were there.  I personally loved her long program a lot more than her short program as I felt she allowed her fire, determination and personality to shine through.  My prayer for Mao is that she will be happy with her wonderful achievement and that Japan will celebrate her accomplishments.  She looked almost sad and so very serious during the medal ceremony.  Like she was feeling she had let herself and perhaps her country down.  Dear Mao, you are amazing.  Your skating is brilliant.  Do not allow anyone to make you feel otherwise.  Celebrate your incredible talent, skill and achievements. You are a wonderful athlete and performer.  Thank you for your beautiful program.

Here is a sample of Mao Asada’s skating (sorry it is not in English)

Bronze Medalist Joannie Rochette of Canada
skated with dignity and grace.  Her incredibly moving performance was supported by everyone in the arena, and I am sure, everyone around the world.  When she stumbled a little after under-rotating a jump, the entire audience clapped and supported her to continue. Each time she landed a jump, did a spin or displayed great footwork or any of her highlighting elements, the audience was behind her.  You could feel that everyone so wanted her to do well.  And do well she did!

When it was over she turned her eyes upwards and blew a kiss to the heavens–a symbol of love to her mother who died unexpectedly after arriving in Vancouver to support Joannie in the Olympics.  For Joannie to deliver such a performance just four days after her mother’s death is beyond extraordinary. 

Thank you to commentators Sandra Bezic (Canadian Pairs Skater who with her Brother Val Bezic won Canadian Nationals 1970-74 and placed 9th in 1972 Olympics) and Scott Hamilton (Gold Medalist, Olympics 1984) who honored Joannie’s Long Program as they had done her Short Program, by remaining silent throughout.  Joannie’s performances needed no words.

After it was all over Scott Hamilton said:  "I’ve never seen such a superhuman amount of courage, determination-what an inspiration," added Hamilton.  Play-by-play man Tom Hammond said: "Under these circumstances, it is the stuff of Olympic legend."  Scott Hamilton, wiping away tears, confided that this very day, sixteen years ago,  February 25th, his own father had died, and how Joannie had reminded us all of the fragility of life. 

Joannie Rochette thank you for inspiring us all, thank you for your strength and courage. As you continue to process and journey through your grief, integrating the loss of your beloved mother into your life, know that you are loved and supported. 

To see Joannie skate go to:

Thank you to all of the competitors for a wonderful event and congratulations to all on participating in the Olympics.