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Mother of Canadian skater dies

VANCOUVER — The mother of Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette died of a massive heart attack early Sunday, a few hours after arriving to watch her daughter compete.

Rochette, 24, still plans to skate, and was at practice Sunday afternoon after spending the morning at the Olympic village with her father, Normand.

The women's event begins Tuesday with the short program.

Rochette will not speak publicly about the death of her mother, Therese, 55, until she finishes competing, Skate Canada president Benoit Lavoie said.

"She's so close to her mother, I think she doesn't even entertain not skating," said David Baden, Rochette's agent. "It's got to be hard to switch gears and say no to (the Olympics). She'll be trying to fulfill the goal they had together."

No 2020 U.S. bid: The United States won't bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics after Chicago was passed over as the 2016 site, the U.S. Olympic Committee said. "Right now our focus is on other things, not just bidding," committee spokesman Patrick Sandusky said. Chicago was the first city eliminated in the 2016 voting by the International Olympic Committee after being touted as a front-runner. Rio de Janeiro was awarded the Games.

Mother of Canadian skater dies 02/21/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:48pm]
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