February 9, 2006
SUN Prediction: Fifth
Sun Media

Joannie (Rocket) Rochette has only three World Figure Skating Championships behind her, finishing 17th, 11th and eighth. But she's rocketed into position to be a final flight skater at the Olympics.

Making it back-to-back Canadian championships in January in Ottawa when she won her second title on her birthday, Rochette then won a bronze medal at the 2004 Grand Prix Final.

The first Canadian woman figure skater to win titles as a novice, junior and senior, it may look like a rocket ride compared to most recent Canadian women's skaters, but it's been a slow steady path if you look closely at her career.

Rochette was third once and second twice before she won her first title last year in London, Ont.

Canadian women haven't had much success internationally over the years. Nobody has won a gold medal since Barbara Ann Scott won the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Elizabeth Manley last made it on the podium, winning silver at the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

In recent years, Jennifer Robinson won six national titles but never placed better than eighth at the Worlds or seventh at the Olympics. Rochette is expected to be at both the Worlds in Calgary and the Olympics in Turin.

She isn't aiming specifically for a medal in Turin.

"I want to leave this season doing a perfect program once, each one,'' she said.

Event Schedule

Tues. Feb. 21

Short program

Thurs. Feb. 23

Free skate

Previous Games

The 20-year-old Rochette is making her first Olympic appearance.