Joannie Rochette leads Skate Canada Hall of Fame class of 2017

Joannie Rochette, who captured the hearts of Canadians when she competed at the Vancouver Olympics just days after her mother’s death, is headed to Skate Canada’s Hall of Fame.

She will be joined in the class of 2017 by fellow singles skater Jennifer Robinson, the coaching teams of Sadie and Albert Enders and Josee Picard and Eric Gillies, and builders Ron Vincent and Steve Milton.

Rochette captured bronze at the Vancouver Games just days after her mom died of a heart attack. She carried Canada’s flag in the closing ceremony and then returned home to grieve.

The 31-year-old from Ile-Dupas, Que., also won silver at the 2009 world championships as well as two silver and a bronze at the annual Four Continents meet.

Robinson is a six-time Canadian champion from Goderich, Ont., who competed at one Olympics and eight world championships.

The Enders, who are entering the hall posthumously, were coaching pioneers in singles, ice dance and pairs. They guided Suzanne Morrow and Wallace Diestelmeyer to Olympic and world bronze medals in 1948.

Picard and Gillies have coached skaters to Canadian and international medals in singles, pairs and ice dance. Olympic medallists Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler and world champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz trained under Picard and Gillies.

Vincent has spent his life developing and implementing coach education programs while Milton has covered figure skating for over 35 years as a reporter.

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