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Olympics Winter

Rochette, Majdic share Terry Fox Award

Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette and Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic are the winners of the Terry Fox Award at the Vancouver Olympics.

Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette and Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic are the winners of the Terry Fox Award at the Vancouver Olympics.

The award, created for the 2010 Games by the Fox family and Vancouver organizers, is named for the heroic amputee runner who set out on a cross-country trek to raise funds for cancer research in 1980. It is presented to an athlete who embodies the values that Fox did, showing determination and humility in the face of obstacles.

Rochette, from Île-Dupas, Que., won a bronze medal less than a week after her mom, Thérèse, died in Vancouver.

"There wasn't a dry eye in the house when she took to the ice on Tuesday after her mother's death," John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver organizing committee, said in a statement. "We all held our breath and willed her on as she gave a remarkable, dignified performance — one that helped her earn bronze. Her grief, determination and her grace have touched all of us."

The 24-year-old's medal was Canada's first in Olympic women's singles since Elizabeth Manley claimed silver at the 1988 Calgary Games.

Majdic, 30, captured bronze despite a crash in training that left her with four fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

"She performed in pain knowing her country and family were counting on her to win Slovenia's first medal at the Games — and she did with a bronze-medal finish," Furlong said.

The athletes were selected by a committee that included Fox's brother, Darrell, sportscaster Brian Williams, Olympian and VANOC board member Charmaine Crooks and former rower Tricia Smith.

"We are so pleased to see this award, named in honour of Terry, go towards Petra and Joannie, athletes who embody many of the same qualities he did as he pushed himself day after day towards his goal of finding a cure for cancer," Betty Fox, Terry's mother, said in a statement. "This year marks the 30th anniversary of my son's Marathon of Hope.

"Watching Petra and Joannie, and their determination to carry on and triumph is something Canadians and the world will not forget. They represent the best of us and what we can accomplish — just like Terry."

Fox's cross-Canada trek was cut short when the cancer spread to his lungs and he died in 1981 at age 22.

The awards are made out of nickel and wood, and similar in style to the Vancouver 2010 medals. They also include a quote from Fox in both English and French: "I want to set an example that will never be forgotten."