Rochette not ready for comeback
Joannie Rochette of Canada performs in the women's free skate at the Japan Open figure skating competition at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on October 5, 2013
The Canadian, who has mainly focused on ice shows after medalling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics just days after her mother's sudden death, said she would go to February's Sochi Games as a member of the French-langauge crew for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
"I'm going to do the introduction. I'm going to watch the practice and I'm going to report to the channel to say what I saw," she told AFP Saturday.
"It's fun. It's a new challenge. At 27, I feel like it's time for me to move on and do something else other than skating."
Rochette, who won Canada's national title six times in a row, the 2009 world silver medal and five Grand Prix titles, has competed only at the Japan Open since the last Olympics.
At the 2013 edition on Saturday, she landed six triples with ease, two of them in combination jumps, and placed second at 123.99 points behind Olympic silver medallist and two-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan at 135.16.
"I'm surprised. I was training like that at home. But I didn't know how well I'd do it with pressure," Rochette said after her routine to the music of "Notre Dame de Paris" by I Fiamminghi and Rudolf Werthen.
She finished ahead of US national champion Ashley Wagner at 119.77 and Russia's 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova, the European championship silver medallist, at 105.95.
The annual free-skate competition has brought together active and former top singles skaters representing Japan, North America and Europe. Japan won the title for the second straight year.
But despite her solid performance, which sent a capacity crowd of 15,000 to their feet at the Saitama Super Arena, Rochette was unsure about a return to the top level of competition.
"I still wish to compete but I like it the way it is now because I have no pressure and I do it just for myself, for fun."
"I don't think I'd like to go back to the Olympics. My last experience was a bit bittersweet," she said.
"At this point, I feel like I want to stay home. I'm not ready to make that kind of sacrifice any more."
She said she felt the same about Grand Prix series. "I don't know. It's very official when you're at the Grand Prix. You take someone else's spot."
"But as long as I'm invited to the Japan Open I still do it because I like to compete," the Montreal native said, adding that she would "maybe" go back to high-profile but non-Grand Prix events such as the Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany.
Rochette said Canada had "great chances" in the inaugural team competition in figure skating in Sochi with world men's champion Patrick Chan, Olympic ice-dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as well as world pairs silver medallists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.
Rochette also said 17-year-old Kaetlyn Osmond was "doing very well" after finishing eighth at the world championships in March this year.
"I'll be in the stand cheering for them."
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