WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Dan Jansen, the speed skater who took two heartbreaking falls while competing at the Olympics, was singled out for praise at his sister's funeral Saturday.
"You have taught us perhaps one of the most important lessons all of us have to learn in life," the Rev. John Yockey said. "For, you see, we all fall. But Dan, we thank you for showing us how to get up again.
"You have gotten up again with dignity, with graciousness. You come from a family of champions. You are a champion, just as Jane is."
Jansen's 27-year-old sister, Jane Beres, died last Sunday of leukemia, hours before her brother was to skate in the Olympic 500-meter event. Jansen, who was expected to win a medal, fell in the first turn.
Then on Thursday night, Jansen, 22, appeared headed for a medal in the 1,000-meter race, but fell with about 200 meters left.
"Dan, you love Jane as profoundly as she loves you," Yockey said in a strong, clear voice. "She told you to 'Go for it.' And you did."
In his remarks, Yockey extended words to the rest of the Jansen family.
"I take my hat off to you, as does an entire nation and a world that has been so deeply moved by the lessons you have taught us."
Monsignor Francis Beres, Jane's uncle by marriage, consoled the nearly 400 relatives and friends during the service at St. Augustine Catholic Church.