I think this has been slightly overlooked in the skating world and I'd like to draw attention to it - Joannie Rochette recently went to Peru for a week. She brought back some heart-wrenching stories:
Rochette said the one time she was overcome with emotion was when she met a single mother of three children who was so embarrassed by the state of her home that she didn't feel worthy of Rochette's visit.
"She took me in her arms and started to cry. That really touched me because that lady really wanted to make a good impression on me. Even if they don't have much, they give everything... It was hard to see this woman fighting through her life [to survive each day]," Rochette recalled.
The trip, as well as helping to draw attention to the issues that people in Peru have, helped Rochette get some perspective on her skating:
"There, just having food for their next meal is great and I complain when I fall on my triple Lutz, so just seeing that was really different," said Rochette, 23, who used one week of her planned three-week vacation from skating for the journey to Peru.
I think this was a fantastic thing for Rochette to do; in the build up to the Olympic season, it's easy to get wrapped up in your goals and your training. This trip obviously had positive effects for both Rochette and the communities she gives. As celebrities, albeit minor ones, go, skaters seem to be hugely altruistic.
Full article is avaliable here It also discusses her preparation for next season and her sponsors; was anyone else aware she was sponsored by Molson beer?! Alcohol and figure skating - doesn't seem like the most logical combination!