A heartfelt Skate for the Heart


Joannie et David: My kind of perfect.


I love figure skating and am pretty partial to Mr. David Archuleta too, so tonight was magical for all sorts of reasons.

Not only did David sing, but he accompanied Joannie Rochette — Canada’s inspirational bronze medal skater from last winter’s Olympic Games.
I was secretly hoping he would sing MKOP … and he did … twice.

The first time, he opened the song all alone and I thought there was a glitch because there was no Joannie.

The spotlight was on David until he sang, “Will I turn the corner, see my future in a beautiful face … maybe” … and then out skated Joannie. She turned her head and looked up at David for a second and then glided onto the ice into a perfect spin.

It was heartbreakingly beautiful and at the very end, Joannie skated up to the stage, hopped right onto it and over to David and gave him a big hug. A big one. I’m pretty sure if she wasn’t a fan before, she is now.

We were sitting beside a huge group of fans. Not David fans but skating fans. They had signs and pictures and everything. It was like looking in a fun-house mirror… they tried to tell us how amazing their favourite skaters were and of course we told them to be sure to check out David’s album.

The best thing was, because David is such a perfectionist, he came out again at the end of the show to redo both MKOP and SBL. And that huge crowd of mostly skating fans gave him a huge round of applause and starting clapping along to SBL. (And yes, Refnaf and Pastel and Roberta and I clapped loudest in our Olympic-mitten-clad hands!)

He sounded even more amazing the second time, and I hope those are the takes they use for the TV telecast.
I’m sure Joannie does too 🙂 (I also hope she invited him to perform here someday 🙂

Pastel’s video of MKOP:


Canadian Olympic figure skating heroine Joannie Rochette is joining forces with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to fight heart disease in women. She won a bronze medal in Vancouver only days after her mother Therese Rochette died of a massive heart attack.


Canadian skater Rochette committed to fighting heart disease in women

excerpted from The Montreal Gazette

OTTAWA — After her mother died, Joannie Rochette found a small, handwritten note in her purse. On that scrap of paper, her mother had jotted down the aches and pains she’d been feeling in the days leading up to her fatal heart attack.

Rochette’s mother had told no one her symptoms; perhaps she put her own troubles aside, feeling that nothing else was as important as her daughter’s fast-approaching Olympic figure skating competition.

“I just wish she would have talked to me about it,” Rochette said Saturday, when she spoke at the launch of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s new campaign for women’s heart health.

“She didn’t have time to talk to her doctor about it. She just ignored those symptoms. And when I read that, it just makes me so mad, that she kept it all to herself.”

Rochette, a petite, blond 24-year-old from Ile-Dupas, Que., about 80 kilometres northeast of Montreal, won admirers the world over when she skated her way to a bronze medal at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, just days after her mother’s death.

Therese Rochette, died at the age of 55, just two days before Joannie was due to skate the short and long programs.

Saturday, she told more of her mother’s story at the launch of the “iheartmom” campaign, an initiative meant to raise awareness about the lifestyle habits that can lead to heart disease, as well as to raise funds for research and treatment.

Rochette spoke of how her mother picked her up after school to drive her to figure skating lessons; helped her with her homework afterward; and grilled her in spelling while she took her evening bath.

“My mom and I were really a team,” she said.

But while her mother encouraged good health habits for her daughter — nixing trips to McDonald’s, making her get enough sleep at night, and lecturing her on the perils of tobacco — she failed to adopt a healthy lifestyle for herself.

Eight years ago, after an injury in a car accident, her mother retired from work and stopped being physically active, Rochette recalled. And despite her daughter’s scolding, she couldn’t give up cigarettes.

“She started smoking at the age of 12 . . . For her it was a crutch. She wanted to stop, and she tried, but she couldn’t,” Rochette recalled. “It was hard for my mom to be home all day — I had no brothers or sisters — and to watch me go off travelling all the time. I wish I had been there more, to motivate her to get out and exercise.”

Dr. Robert Roberts, CEO of the Heart Institute, said he hopes to extend the legacy of Rochette’s Olympic performance to inspire all women toward greater heart health.

He said that, with current breakthroughs in genetic research, doctors and patients will soon be able to modify genetic risks, as well as lifestyle choices, to stave off cardiovascular problems.

Rochette said she hopes to continue to be a spokeswoman for the campaign for several years to come. And she is considering medical school after she finishes her CEGEP (first step of Quebec post-secondary education) this year.

She said that becoming a doctor has been a dream since she was a child, but one that she put on hold while she pursued competitive figure skating.

“I’m still very passionate and curious about the human body. It’s definitely something I’m very interested in, especially with the events that happened,” she said. “My mother always wanted to help others, but she never had the opportunity to study.”


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52 Responses to A heartfelt Skate for the Heart

  1. abanana77 says:

    TOfan – I am ridiculously impressed by how fast this got posted! I would still not be able to process my thoughts if it were me.

    Sounds like it was as amazing as expected! I am sooo happy he sang MKOP. I was hoping he’d do that one too! I am super curious about something: which one of them were you guys looking at during the performance? Or were you looking between them? Because I would not be able to make up my mind.

    Joannie’s story actually breaks me heart. For her mom to die so suddenly, when she was still quite young, is terrible, but for it to happen right before something I’m sure she’d been looking forward too almost her entire life… I don’t even have words to describe that. Makes me think about how quickly something could happen to someone I love and be so thankful that it hasn’t so far. She is such and incredibly strong person and such an inspiration <33333333

  2. emmegirl says:

    Thank you TOfan for a beautiful recap, what a wonderful event. How sweet of her to give him the hug. Seems he made quite an impression, as I am sure she did on him.

    And thank you for the story about Joanie and her mother, so touching and so sad.

    ~They look like a prince and princess in that picture~

  3. TOfan says:

    abanana & emme, I did post this soon after the show but completely forgot to mention that at the intermission, we noticed that there were a huge block of seats right near the stage that were completely empty so we shifted over to them. (So, still processing, obviously! lol)

    The seats that were blocked off were probably terrible seats for watching the skating but PERFECT for watching the singers! (um, David)

    So in answer to your excellent question, Agent Banana, it was tough the first time round to figure out who to watch. I sort of switched between Joannie and David. But miraculously, after we switched seats, he sang both songs again, so we didn’t have to choose at all. 🙂

    And I remember being so moved watching Joannie so bravely skate her Olympic program … and then to David singing tonight, well, let me just say I’m glad I brought lots of tissues!

    The a cappella group Straight No Chaser and Ruben Studdard were very good too (and apparently David sung Bridge Over Troubled Water with SNC at the VIP *videoooooo pleeeeaaaase*) but to be honest, couldn’t focus much to tell you what they sang. 😆

  4. emmegirl says:

    TOfan, very crafty seat changers! 🙂

    The pics of tonight are nothing short of absolutely stunning.

    And yes please, hope someone had the good sense to video that VIP!

  5. peppertara says:

    TOfan, what a beautiful thing to experience. I can only imagine David singing MKOP and Joannie skating with such beauty to that song! Two of my favorite things too….David and Joannie on ice.
    Love that sweet picture of the two of them, beautiful.
    The photos are wonderful and the videos, fabulous!
    So happy to see these so quickly, what a nice way to end my evening….reading your incredible recap and getting a taste of that very special event.
    Watching it all must have been so very special!
    The story from the Gazette is so very moving to read, must have been a very special event for Joannie too.
    And David singing Bridge Over Troubled Water with SNC ? Oh my, a video would be heavenly.

  6. TOfan says:

    You guys are THE best, and embe agrees! lol Bringing over her message that was stuck under “moderation” 🙂

    Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know that things are finally settling down. I’m still a bit shaken up after everything, but I’ll “walk on”. What’s funny is that today was actually Pete’s cousin’s wedding day (talk about timing), and I put on a brave face for them. It was a surprisingly fun day. Here are pics for you, to say thank you for your support. I love you guys, I really do.

  7. KT says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to my wonderful Canadian friends!!! <3<3<3

    ToFan and Ref, it sounds like you had a great time last night. David's music to skating is a beautiful combination.

    I think it is IMPOSSIBLE to find one person on this entire earth who has spent 5 minutes with David who doesn't come away with very high regard for him.

  8. peppertara says:

    Embe….your photos are lovely, you look just radiant!
    Happy you got to enjoy the wedding, sometimes a ‘beautiful distraction’ can be a good thing. All the best to you.

    Still enjoying the beautiful vids of David, his music to skating is most definitely a lovely thing, especially at Skate For The Heart with Joannie. So look forward to seeing that televised!
    KT…it’s so true, anyone who has met David is taken with him, people are awed by his kindness and his humble nature, no doubt about it. He can put a smile on anyone’s face.
    Much to give thanks for this Thanksgiving, wishing everyone all the best. 🙂

  9. Kizzi says:

    TOfan fantastic recap. Words are yours to wield as you wish. 😀

    Here’s Joannie skating to MKOP – simply gorgeous

    • TOfan says:

      Kizzi, thanks so much for posting that. I hope there’s also a video for her 2nd performance (to an Evanescence song) … it too was poetry on ice.

  10. emmegirl says:

    That Joanie/David performance was perfectly perfect. Hope someone has video of the hug and them leaving the stage at the end.

    embe, what a lovely picture, a very nice couple.
    So happy things are going better for you.

  11. archiesfan4life says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

    Embe – you are beautiful! {{{{HUGS}}}}}

    TOfan and Ref – miss you:(

    I want to share a funny story with all of you. Way back on noting David I became friends with a fellow ODDer – she is now one of my dearest friends. She told me if either of us wins tickets for the concert in December with David and the MTC, I can use her sky miles to get to Utah. We have never met face to face – yet.

    I was telling my “big brother” (and I am an older fan BTW) about this and he got this serious look on his face and asked me, “Have you ever seen a picture of this woman?” Hahaha – I guess he was worried that his sister was traveling clear across the country to meet someone she met on a fan site. Oh if he only knew how close we have all become these past two and a half years!

    LOVE }}}

  12. abanana77 says:

    archiesfan4life – LOL I love that story! So cute that your brother was concerned <3333333333 I hope you win tickets and can go meet up! What an experience that would be!

    • archiesfan4life says:

      I know abanana – it was so sweet that even though we are older now, he still worries about his little sister:).

  13. emmegirl says:

    archiesfan4life, what a great story. Keeping fingers crossed for you, it would be a trip to remember!

    I don’t think you can get much better than David’s fans. They have proven themselves over and over.
    They are a pretty unique group of people.

  14. abanana77 says:

    The archugaze in this picture is amazing. I can not even imagine how the person who was receiving it did not just immediately turn to mush:


    I also like his hair. And his arms 😛

    (sorry I do not know how to embed things)

  15. TOfan says:

    af4L, aww, your bro is worried that you’re not “streetproofed” enough! ROTFL too cute!

    Thanks to YJ_fan, there’s a new picture of David at the top of the sidebar … holding Olympic mittens!!! There’s a little story behind the picture and I promise I’ll try to pull myself together and post it soon.

    Refnaf and I, and fellow Canucks Pastel and Roberta (thanks, in large part, to the amazing YJ!) felt beyond blessed to spend Thanksgiving Monday at the Q92 Stripped Down Concert yesterday … it was very short but oh so sweet …

    I will try my best to put the experience into words but right now my brain is ArchuMush … this will give you an idea why … Pastel’s video of David “Ramblin’ Man” Archuleta blowing us away with his new stand-up routine:

  16. emmegirl says:

    TOfan, can’t wait for your recap but understand the time needed to deDavid, to regain your footing and find your rational brain. The video alone has reduced me to a big pile of squishy stuff.

    LOOOOVE the pic with the red Olympic mittens!

  17. refnaf says:

    What a weekend!!!! What a way to spend Thanksgiving, much different than any previous ones for me!!!! David was spectacular, so comfy and chatty. A lot to digest but one of the first highlights was seeing Joannie spontaneously Hug David after their performance. **sniff** Lots mor but right now laundry etc,. is calling me….
    haha emmegirl> deDavid!!

    AF4L, Love your story…. my kids were worried for me the first time I ventured out to meet TOfan, lol!!!

  18. Abanana77 says:

    TOfan & refnaf – glad you got home safe and sound! Excited to hear your stories! I was wondering whether you were at the stripped down concert, when you never appeared back on the Internet 🙂 Amazing 🙂

  19. TOfan says:

    Another gem from Pastel:

  20. TOfan says:

    Q92’s official vids of the event are all listed on this page 🙂 :


  21. djafan says:

    Tofan aka speedy gonzalez,

    I didn’t know Joannie’s story, what a brave young woman. I loved David’s performance of MKOP, so tender with so much yearning. What I didn’t expect when I saw the video with Joannie’s skating visible it left me with my mouth open, it was magical. I read that she went on stage a gave him a big hug but I haven’t seen any video of it, hope one appears.

    Thank you Tofan, for two great stories.

  22. embe says:

    Being the inpatient kid that I am, I usually can’t stand it when people talk and talk without getting to the point. So why is it that I could listen to David’s rambling for hours?

    “You’re making me hungry.”
    You’re making me smile, David.

    Aaaand, it’s Tuesday, 10pm here – time for the channel 4 weekly documentary. Wanna guess what it is about? HOARDERS. It’s got to be the same one that David watched recently!

    P.S. How can anyone be stupid enough to ask David if his voice has changed? I mean come ON! He’s talking voice is deep and smooth and his singing voice is a blend of velvety raspiness and this tender yet powerful cry that seems to raise the deepest of emotions to the surface. No “child” can produce a sound like that.

    Ok now I’m the one rambling.

    • ray says:

      yes yes you said what i have been trying to say that cry and emotion yes thats iit just has me spellbound between rambling david and singing david

      • emmegirl says:

        embe, agree with the group. Your post is perfect, every word.

        ray, I think all he has to do is open his mouth, lol!

        refnaf, looks like you guys got to experience him being as close to himself as we have seen him. Pretty lucky! I hope he feels confident enough to continue this because he is purely delightful. And what DO you say, it seems like you just run out of words to describe him. He truly, truly is one of a kind.

      • embe says:


  23. MunkFOD says:

    HI! This is a wonderful article! Thanks so much for all of your hard work and for sharing! What a magical night! So happy David has the opportunity to meet such wonderful people and support great causes! He deserves the very best!

  24. MunkFOD says:

    Embe! Love your rambling! and you are right! How could a deep velvety voice like David’s not be changed yet. All you have to do is listen to his recordings from when he was 12-13. and BTW…keep rambling! love it!

  25. YJfanofdavid says:

    Tofan, Love your recap! The elderly lady sitting next me is a skating fan, but she couldn’t take her eyes off David while Joannie was skating to his beautiful rendition of MKOP — totally mesmerized! lol.

    Can you spot the lovely snowangels ? 🙂 =>


  26. refnaf says:

    awww embe, you say it so much better than I ever can…. i have been archusmacked this weekend and the words don’t come. I feel bad that I sit here trying to explain the experience for everyone and I am kinda incoherent.
    “He’s talking voice is deep and smooth and his singing voice is a blend of velvety raspiness and this tender yet powerful cry that seems to raise the deepest of emotions to the surface.” uuuhhhh, yeah, that’s it! I need you to see David live because I know your description will be exactly the words that I can’t find. (((hugs)))

  27. refnaf says:

    The anticipation when we finally took our seats, literally only feet away from the stage… seeing the keyboard, the mic… knowing that you we are going to hear him sing in just a few moments, made me want to scream. There is no other better place to be> enjoying the waiting because I know that it willl be over in a flash. He seems so small, but sturdy when you first see him. I loved so much how relaxed and happy he was,> It was hard to grasp his chatty, rambling. TOfan and I kept looking at each other (briefly) in a total state of unbelief as David went on and on, about his voice changing, extra credit, the age range of his audience… it was so precious. I could not help but think what a day to be thankful for especially on Thanksgving> having never expected that I would be at this event. Seeing it on the sidebar “for contest winners only” for months and then actually being there??? yikes!!! I need to give a shout out to Nicolina, the dj from Q92> she was sooo sweet and made this possibloe for us. I think she may now be a fan as well!!!

    • abanana77 says:

      {{{refnaf}}} that sounds amazing ❤ Loved the way you described everything. "I could not help but think what a day to be thankful for especially on Thanksgving" What an absolutely perfect way to spend thanksgving. I'm so glad you guys got to see the show! 😀

  28. emmegirl says:

    refnaf, I can only imagine your delight sitting there listening to it all…was everyone there just grinning ear to ear. I know he is almost 20, but precious is the only word that I can think of. Guess he’s just gonna have to learn to live with it, lol!

    He really is a natural, he belongs on that stage.

    Sweet tweet from David, he really appreciates his Canadian support! I think he will do everything in his power to get to Canada.

    And a very late Happy Thanksgiving!

  29. peppertara says:

    Well, I don’t know if these figures are accurate or not but David’s first week album sales are apparently:
    23,675 and ranking at #15 in new music. Saw this figure on another site and then I checked Hits Daily Double which gives the rankings of new music and they said the same thing.

    If this is true I am a little disappointed in David’s fans out there. It is still a decent placement but what happened to all the fans who bought his first album and CFTH?
    David still did well but it just makes me wonder if a lot of people are downloading illegally because the album was leaked, grrrr! Guess I shouldn’t make assumptions however. Maybe people just don’t have the money to spend these days either, who knows.
    Guess I was hoping for a higher sales figure for David. Of course there is still tour and more promotion, that may help too.
    Well, just want the best for David like we all do, you know how it is. 🙂

  30. peppertara says:

    Forgot to say….TOfan, refnaf, how wonderful that you were there, up close and personal with David!
    Gee, experiencing first hand all his lovely banter and funny rambling, not to mention his gorgeous voice.
    Absolutely loved those videos…David even turns his rambling into something so very sweet and lovable.
    I’m thinking he should do that at every concert.

    That picture with the red mittens, love it!! Were those mitts carried across the border specifically to give to David? Very, very sweet.

  31. peppertara says:

    Okay, one more short post. I must correct myself…when I said I am a little disappointed in David’s fans (about the album sales).. I am really just a little disappointed in the sales figures. I know that David has the most wonderful fans! 🙂
    Note to myself…..don’t rush through your posts.

  32. embe says:


    Sorry for the caps I’m so hypnotized by those swinging hips I can’t stop typing oh my gawd

    Can non-catholics go to confession?

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