Joannie Rochette, the French Canadian figure skater who overcame extreme adversity to claim bronze at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, talked during a Jan. 3 "Today Show" interview about her decision to opt out of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Looking cheerful in a hat and fleece, Rochette explained that she "felt it was time for me to do something else" and said she'd accepted a "great opportunity" to serve as part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's team in Sochi. She called her transition to broadcasting a "bittersweet" one, but said she was looking forward to cheering for her teammates without stressing over her own routines.
Rochette predicted Sochi success for countryman Patrick Chan, a favorite for men's gold, as well as a heated "battle" for the top prize in ice dancing between Canadians and reigning Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and reigning World Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White of Team USA.
Rochette, now 27, skated to third place in Vancouver, just four days after her mother Therese suffered a heart attack and died. Her triumph became one of the most notable stories of the 2010 Winter Games.
Women's figure skating at the 2014 Olympics kicks off with the short program round on Feb. 19.