hree-time United States figure skating champion and 2008 world bronze medal winner Johnny Weir announced his withdraw from the 2010 World Championships Tuesday. Weir, who finished sixth at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, plans to take time to train over the next few months. “After my sixth-place finish in Vancouver, I believe I must take time to reassess my strategies and goals,” Weir said. “I can assure everyone that I will be re-energized after I’ve had time to rework my technique.” Weir finished fourth at the 2009 Rostelecom Cup, won a silver medal at the 2009 NHK Trophy and took home bronze medals at both the 2009 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating and 2010 U.S. Championships.
Canada’s Joannie Rochette won the bronze medal in ladies’ figure skating at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. The 24-year old athlete battled tears as she received the medal, barely a week after her mother died. Rochette’s victory brought Canada’s total medal tally to 17, securing the host-nation’s hold to the fourth place. Rochette’s mother, Therese, died after a heart attack on Sunday upon arrival in Vancouver. She was Joannie’s biggest supporter. Despite her mother’s death, Joannie battled personal grief and continued her practice, until she got the bronze medal. Rochette got 131.28 points for her free skate to Samson and Delilah. Her overall scor was 202.64. South Korea’s Kim Yu-Na took the gold with 150.06 points for her free skate to Gershwin’s Concerto in F, which gave her an overall score of 228.56. On second place was Japan’s Mao Asada, who got 131.72 points for her free skate, for an overall score of 205.50. Joannie’s father, Normand, watched from the stands if the packed Pacific Coliseum. The crowd did not hide their admiration for the brave athlete with their thunderous applause and cheers. Despite Canada’s fourth place overall medal ranking, the country is tied with first place U.S. and second placer Germany in its gold harvest with identical gold medal counts of 8 each.