Story sharing time
Joannie is an unbelievable sweetheart, and all this is not getting to her head at all. She is so genuine and humble and sweet and inspiring, and I love her a billion time more than I did just a day ago. Yesterday she had an autograph signing session at the Eaton Centre in Toronto. They had a similar event last year, but it featured Kurt Browning and Jeff Buttle. I went to it last year, and I arrived about 5 minutes before the event, got in line, chatted with them and got their autographs, and it was great. Yesterday I arrived about an hour ahead of Joannie's scheduled appearance time, and the lineup at that point was about 10 times the amount of people who showed up last year. It basically went around the store and was increasing by the second! I was told that the cut-off of those guaranteed to see Joannie was about 50 people ahead of me But, hopeless dreamer that I am, I decided to give it a chance and I might get to meet her. Apparently even though she was scheduled to appear at 1:30, people started lining up at 9:30!!
Well, long story short, after the cut-off line was surpassed, the lineup kept getting closer and closer to her, and everyone around me had high hopes we might get to see her after all (btw, there were about 300+ people who lined up behind me!!! and they too decided to just wait and hope for the best ) well, she stayed past her schueled time, and was being sooo nice to everyone. I got to see her and tell her what an inspiration she has been to me, not just because of the Olympics, but because of how she's been representing Canadians and the sport of figure skating for the past 6+ years, and she seemed very touched by this. She was soooo nice and smily and polite to me - a random fan - and was paying full attention to me and not distracted by everyone around her. What was really great is that, as I was leaving with my autographed picture, The guy besides her said "Joannie, please we really have to go now. We're already late as it is" and she looked at the hundreds waiting, and looked at him feeling a bit guilty and said "Just a few more. They've been waiting for so long" That about sealed the deal for me. She is a terrific, terrific human being, and really cares about and appreciates her fans. I can't say I'm surprised, but I feel so lucky to have personally experienced that moment myself. No matter how much you like someone and want to believe that they are great, there's always a chance they might not be as kind hearted as you're lead to believe as a fan. She was everything I thought she is and then some.
And ps. she is soooooooooo TINY!!! TV does NOT do her justice AT ALL! I felt like if I shook her hands a little harder I might break them! And her arms always look very bulky and muscular on TV, and they looked so tiny and fragile up cloase! (She was wearing a black sleeveless top) I wonder how skaters like YuNa and Mao are like up close