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It's been just three days since Canadian skater Joannie Rochette's mother Therese, 55, died suddenly in Vancouver of a massive heart attack, but Rochette showed amazing strength on Tuesday when she took to the ice during a pre-skate event before the women's free skate.

The skater paid tribute to her mother by going on with her scheduled appearance. Rochette, 24, skated into third place Tuesday night, snagging her best score to date: 71.36.

Holding back tears, Rochette showed amazing composure throughout her tango-inspired performance, but when she finished, she broke down and placed her hand over her heart.

Skating sensation Kristi Yamaguchi was there and told "Extra," "To tribute her mom in that way is incredible. It shows the strength of her character."

See photos of 2010 Olympic Medalists

Rochette will compete again on Thursday during the Ladies Free Skate.

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