I must admit I haven’t really been into watching the Olympic Games much at all this time. I’m not sure if it’s because of all the things I have going on in my life, or that I simply just haven’t cared enough to pay much attention. Last night was a different story, though.
Late in the evening my family and I were watching the Olympic Figure Skating as we unwound from the busy, hectic day. My mother, who passed away 6 years ago absolutely loved to watch figure skating. She loved the beauty, agility and grace of the performers. I can’t help but think of my mother whenever I see figure skating. As a child and young adult, I always watched the figure skating because that’s what mom watched. In those days families had one TV and three or four channels — depending if the wind was just right and the TV antennae wasn’t being blown in the wrong direction.
Anyway, there were some amazing, world record-setting performances in the women’s short program figure skating Tuesday night.
The performances were just simply breath taking, beautiful and energetic.
But it was Joannie Rochette of Canada who captured the hearts of all who were in attendance in the arena and probably all of those who were watching on their TVs at home.
Rochette’s mother passed away suddenly of a heart attack on Sunday — only 2 days before she was to perform in the Olympics.

This story in the New York Times sums up the evening and performances perfectly. This was no ordinary performance for Rochette.
The arena and audience were filled with anxiety wondering if she would be able to skate without having problems, or letting her emotions get to her.
She had the support of the entire stadium — the support of fans of all nations, who waved maple leaf flags for her.
The woman skated through her grief and tears, pressed on and performed with grace and beauty, earning a personal best score.
At the end of her performance she held her hand to her heart and openly wept. It was a beautiful moment of personal triumph, grace, faith, love and athleticism all rolled into one. There was no doubt she performed in honor of her mother and gathered the strength to perform her personal best.
As she left the ice, the crowd cheered and I can only imagine there wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium. Rochette hugged her trainer and openly cried and spoke something into the camera in French as she waited for the score. She was relieved it was over, thrilled with her performance and emotionally drained — missing her mother.
A thought came to me at that moment.
Isn’t this what God challenges all of us to do in life? To give our personal best, to press on in good times and bad? To live our lives to the fullest, knowing that He is always by our side — through triumph or tragedy?