Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Olympic Medallist Rochette Misses Competitive Training but Enjoys Life on, off Ice

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Olympic Medallist Rochette Misses Competitive Training but Enjoys Life on, off Ice

Article excerpt

Retired Rochette misses competitive training

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TORONTO - When she's not entertaining crowds on the ice, Joannie Rochette has embraced a new thrill that has her soaring above ground.

"I started skydiving last fall and did my solo certification and got really into it," said the figure skater, who has completed about 30 jumps, leaping from as high as 14,000 feet.

During a recent Stars On Ice tour stop in Montreal, Rochette said some of the other skaters wanted to come along for a tandem jump, including fellow Canadian and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

"It's not only for crazy people that want to jump out of airplanes," she said. "It's an actual sport -- and I can really relate (it) to skating.

"You just practise your little routine over and over again until you have control and until you can master all of those tricks."

The Ile-Dupas, Que., native achieved significant success during her competitive career as a six-time Canadian national champion and silver medallist at the 2009 world championships.

In a defining moment of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Rochette captured bronze just days after her mother died of a heart attack. She was selected to carry Canada's flag at the closing ceremony and returned home to grieve.

Rochette hasn't competed in a major international event since. Her coach, Manon Perron, has retired since the Vancouver Games.

Rochette said she wanted to compete in the team event at the 2014 Sochi Games. However, she said rules requiring participation in the singles event along with points she needed prior to the Games kept her sidelined. Instead, Rochette stepped behind the microphone with French-language broadcaster Radio-Canada.

"I always kept in shape. In fact, that year, I completed a long program with the same Olympic rules in order to be prepared in case I wanted to come back," she said.

"I always loved the training part. …

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