In the small town of Berthierville, a stately church overflowed with mourners. Outside, those who knew of Rochette or had simply heard of the funeral came by the pay their respects.
Inside, the deafening silence was broken only with muffled cries.
As one of her final gestures to her mother, Joannie Rochette placed her bronze medal on her mother's casket.
Thérèse Guèvremont-Rochette, died of a heart attack as she got off the plane to watch her daughter compete at the Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Rochette's performance on the ice just days after her mother's death touched thousands around the world.
The Olympic medalist was the first to address the crown of 900 mourners inside Ste.-Geneviève-de-Berthier parish church Thursday afternoon. With a shaky voice and a smile, the 24-year old athlete delivered a heart-warming tribute to her mother and mentor. Rochette was greeted with thunderous applause.
“I am the person I am because you believed in me,” Joannie Rochette said through her tears.
“You are such a part of me,” she said, clasping her hands to her chest as she addressed the casket,
"She taught me how to be brave. … She was always there for me."
She was dressed in a black suit and blouse and sat with her father and boyfriend throughout the service, where a female vocalist sang "Hymn to Love," an Edith Piaf anthem that includes the lyrics "God reunites those who love each other."
Rochette and other family members accompanied the casket out of the church. Friends and family said Rochette and her mother had been more than your average mother and daughter, they were like best friends.
"The mother give to her daughter the best — the courage, the guts to get that bronze medal — what a wonderful gift for Canada, for Quebec, for the world,"
said Berthierville Mayor Bernard Grégoire.
Rochette said she drew inspiration from many people around the world who rallied around her during a stressful and trying time, including her fellow Canadian athletes.
On Sunday night, the bronze medalist carried the Canadian flag for the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Games.
Rochette is the first Canadian woman to win a singles figure skating medal at the Olympics since 1988.