Iconic athletes dare to bare for breast cancer in popular Quebec periodical

Among the nine French-Canadian celebrities that appeared in the 400th issue of Clin d’Oeil magazine, a pair of athletes that captured the hearts and minds of sports fans were featured. Joannie Rochette, who became Canada’s sweetheart at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and Emilie Heymans, one of the greatest divers in Canadian history both appeared in the magazine’s pages in a state of undress as a show of support for finding a cure breast cancer.
Appropriately featuring 400 pages, the anniversary issue had a special pink theme to it. The cover model was adorned in a pink dress, while the word Rose (French for pink) was on the cover. Of note, said issue was dedicated to those whose lives were affected by breast cancer. With stories of how the disease has affected family, women and couples, the lifestyle and fashion magazine had a very emotional tone to it.

While Rochette and Heymans agreed to appear nude in the publication for the cause, they chose to not reveal everything. Featured on page 192, Rochette was adorned in a white blanket, while Heymans, on page 198, wore a black dress and was laying down on a bed with her left arm covering her chest.

Photographed by Louise Savoie, the photographs sent a message of courage and hope. Those are two words that shall forever be associated with Rochette. Her mother passed away after arriving in Vancouver for the Vancouver Winter Games.

Saddened and emotional, she continued to compete in the figure skating event in her mother’s honor. She would finish with a bronze medal, providing Canadian sports fans with one of the most inspiring sports performances ever.

Translated from French, Rochette had indicated to the magazine that while she took time before accepting to do the photo shoot, she felt that the breast was so much a part of femininity that she felt it was the trouble doing it.

Heymans, the first Canadian to win a medal in four consecutive Summer Games (the fourth came at London 2012) had also shared her thoughts on the photo shoot. Stated in French also, Heymans revealed that she considered herself lucky as no one in her family had suffered from cancer. She felt that appearing in the magazine was a way of showing solidarity for the cause.

To celebrate the release of the issue, a fundraiser was held at the Semaine de mode de Montréal (Montreal Fashion Week). With a pregnant Heymans in attendance, an astounding figure of $731,000 was raised for the breast cancer foundation in Quebec.

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