Canadian Olympic figure skater's struggle with clear vision

Canadian Olympic hero Joannie Rochette discusses how overcoming vision challenges helped in her quest for Olympic glory

Canadian figure skater, and Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette - who captured the hearts of people worldwide with her stunning performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics - is offering fans a rare glimpse into her past and her struggle with clear vision.

The 24-year-old native of Île Dupas, QC has teamed up with Montreal-based, national laser vision provider LASIK MD to show how the now-common procedure changed her life and bettered her career.

"I want people to know just how much my life changed after laser vision correction," said Rochette. "It changed the way I see myself and helped build my confidence on and off the ice. It definitely contributed to getting me where I am today."

The partnership will see Rochette become the face of LASIK MD, appearing in advertisements, various events and social media forums.

At the age of 18, Rochette booked herself a consultation at LASIK MD's Montreal clinic without telling her parents. Already a figure skater of 12 years at the time, Rochette had been struggling with poor vision her entire life. At the age of six, glasses had to be strapped to her head prior to figure skating competitions. As an older child still too young to wear contact lenses regularly, she was forced to visit her optometrist before competitions to have contacts inserted and then removed afterward.

Even when she was old enough to wear contacts regularly, Rochette had to deal with repeated infections and eventually could tolerate the contacts only for a couple of hours at a time. These tribulations motivated her to have laser vision correction.

"Figure skating is a sport of extreme precision," she said. "Everything depends on your ability to measure distance and depth, and to do so in only a split second. Knowing that I didn't have to worry about glasses or contacts and that my vision was stable made my confidence on the ice soar and propelled my career forward."

Rochette added she is excited about the new partnership with LASIK MD and the opportunity to raise awareness among young Canadian adults about the benefits, affordability and safety of laser vision correction.

"Joannie is living proof of the profound effect that laser vision correction has had on the lives of thousands of Canadians," said LASIK MD co-founder Dr. Avi Wallerstein. "We are proud that such a courageous, charming and optimistically spirited person like Joannie has chosen to support LASIK MD and highlight her experience with this life-changing procedure."

Canadians will see Rochette's familiar face on LASIK MD advertisements in select markets beginning Aug. 16 and nationwide within the next few weeks.

Source: LASIK MD

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