Skater Rochette aims for redemption in Vancouver


Joannie Rochette has been working harder than ever to not let a precious opportunity at an Olympic podium pass her by the second time around.

Rochette, who placed 5th at Torino, needs to make her performance at the Olympics her finest.

As a six-time national champion, she has proven her dominance on the national level, but has yet to win a major international competition.

Constantly surrounded by the media, Rochette’s  demeanor shows she indeed dreams about achieving such a feat, but does not want to jinx herself.

“I’m not putting on myself any expectation of winning the gold,” Rochelle told the Toronto Star after winning the national championship in London.

“Yes, I think if I do a program like this it’s possible I can win but I don’t want to think about the end result. This a sport where, the moment you start thinking, you miss,”

Kim Yu-Na, of South Korea, the reigning world champion, is the biggest threat to Rochette, coming into the competition with a 11 international goal medals to her credit.

There is a lot of pressure on the talented skater to win at her first Olympics because South Korea has only won medals in speed skating, therefore Kim can create history.

“People’s expectations are so high because in the past, figure skating was not an event that Koreans could expect to get a medal in,” Bang-Sang-Ah, former South Korean coach, told German Press Agency DPA.

“Now, we have Kim Yu-Na who can make the country proud.”

The Japanese contingent of Mao Asada, Miki Ando, and Akiko Suzuki, should also be closely watched, as these three skaters are all expected to be in medal contention.

Alongside Asada who recently won the Four Continents Championship, is teammate Miki Ando, the 2007 world champion, who is looking to put past disappointments behind her after placing 15th at the 2006 Olympics.

Suzuki, the less notable of the three, recently won the silver medal at the 2010 Four Continents Championship, right behind her counterpart Mao Asada.

Canadian Cynthia Phaneuf could also produce a surprise performance in Vancouver after an impressive second place finish at the 2010 Canadian national championships.

Carolina Kostner, of Italy, has been overlooked as a contender for the gold medal race, even though she is currently ranked second in the world. Kostner recently won her third European championship and therefore has great momentum headed into the Olympics.