Exceptional courage during 2010 Vancouver Games
By Karen Mullins
VANCOUVER – Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic and Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette have received a medal for their determination and courage during the 20101 games.
Both exceptional athletes received the 2010 Terry Fox Award.
Thirty years ago Fox attempted to run across Canada on a prosthetic leg to raise money for cancer research. His battle with cancer ended on June 28, 1981.
While Fox passed away his dream to fight cancer through research did not die. As of 2010 , the annual Terry Fox Runs held across the globe hasraised almost $500 million for cancer research.
Both athletes awarded the Terry Fox Award showed bravery during the games giving inspiration to millions.
“Few people have touched the soul of this great nation like Terry Fox did on his Marathon of Hope in 1980. In honour of his spirit we created this award with the Fox family ? one which we’re proud to present today to Petra and Joannie,” said VANOC CEO John Furlong.
Petra Majdic won her country, Slovenia, its first medal at the Games despite being injured.
The brave cross-county skier crashed on rocks during warm-ups for the classic sprint on February 17. She went on to qualify before collasping in pain. A medical exam revealed that the skier had sustained five broken ribs along with a pneumothorax.
She returned to the Games despite her pain to finish third in the finals.
“Petra showed true grit when she picked herself up and stayed on to compete at Whistler Olympic Park in the women’s sprint classic after sustaining an injury while warming up on the course,” he said.
“She performed in pain knowing her country and family were counting on her to win Slovenia’s first medal at the Games ? and she did with a bronze medal finish.”
Canada’s Joannie Rochette performed on Tuesday after her mother’s sudden death Saturday night. With dignity and grace she became the first Canadian female figure skater to win an Olympic medal since Elizabeth Manley in 1988 in Calgary.
“Joannie also touched all of us this week with her determination to push on and compete here at Canada’s Games even as she struggled with the painful sudden loss of her mother, Thérèse.
“ There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when she took to the ice on Tuesday after her mother’s death. We all held our breath and willed her on as she gave a remarkable, dignified performance ? one that helped her earn bronze. Her grief, determination and her grace have touched all of us,” he said.
“Both women are an inspiration to all of us and have provided us with unforgettable performances at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games,” continued Furlong.
The Terry Fox Award’s panel comprised of Darrell Fox, brother of Terry, CTV sportscaster Brian Williams, Olympic silver medalist in athletics and VANOC board member Charmaine Crooks, and Tricia Smith, Olympic silver medallist in rowing, vice president of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and an honorary Olympic mayor of the athletes’ village in Vancouver selected Majdic, 30 and Rochette, 24, from the athletes attending the Games.
“We are so pleased to see this award, named in honour of Terry, go towards Petra and Joannie, athletes who embody many of the same qualities he did as he pushed himself day after day towards his goal of finding a cure for cancer,” said Betty Fox. “This year marks the 30th anniversary of my son’s Marathon of Hope. Watching Petra and Joannie and their determination to carry on and triumph is something Canadians and the world will not forget. They represent the best of us and what we can accomplish ? just like Terry.”
The award has the Vancouver 2010 Olympic emblem etched into a shape of a water drop, a symbol of the moment when Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean when he began his long run. Also etched into the medal is a quote from Fox.
“I want to set an example that will never be forgotten.”
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