Rochette and Majdic honored for inspiring performances

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By Neil Maidment

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette and cross country skier Petra Majdic of Slovenia were recognized for their inspiring contributions to the Olympic Games on Saturday.

Majdic and Rochette were individually handed the Terry Fox award for inspiring acts of determination which both culminated in winning bronze medals.

Rochette captivated audiences with her performances in the women's figure skating just days after her mother's death and Majdic defied broken ribs to finish third in the women's individual sprint and earn her country's first medal in the sport.

"Coming here I didn't plan to inspire people," 24-year-old Rochette told a news conference.

"I didn't want to do (the program) halfway, I wanted to pursue my dream... That's what my mother would have wanted me to do, to go out there and skate for her."

Canadian Terry Fox ran a "Marathon of Hope" across Canada with a prosthetic leg after bone cancer forced an amputation at 18-years-old. He died on the journey in 1981 but close to $500 million has since been raised for cancer research in his name.

"I was shocked by the (bronze) medal but when they told me what I was going to get today, I was shaking totally," the 30-year-old Majdic added.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)