Marystown’s own Kaetlyn Osmond roars into the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in the wake of a career year
A perfect year in sports is a rare thing. You likely have a better chance at spotting a unicorn, or reeling in a merb’y. Marystown native and world-ranked figure skating sensation Kaetlyn Osmond put together a 2017 campaign that teeters on the edge of unblemished, and she did so at the perfect time, ahead of the highest profile showcase of her professional career.
Second Olympic Games
Osmond roars into Pyeongchang, South Korea for her second Winter Olympic Games this February on the heels of a campaign for the history books. Osmond captured a pair of bronze medals at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final in Nagoya, Japan and the Internationaux de France, duel gold medals at the Autumn Classic and Skate Canada International in Regina, picked up a silver medal at the Canadian Championships in Vancouver earlier in January and became the first Canadian woman to medal at the World Championships since Joannie Rochette in 2009 when she banked a silver in Helsinki, Finland in March.
Osmond’s maturation from green yet promising upstart to legitimate worldwide contender and medal threat has been one of the biggest stories in pro-skating in recent years. We caught up with the 22-year-old ahead of her second crack at Olympic glory.
“I definitely feel really good. It’s much different than the last Olympic year,” Osmond explains to The Herald from her home in Alberta. “I’m actually healthy. I’ve had two full years of competing and training and everything has been going really well. In practice I’ve been feeling super confident and training really well, so I’m excited to transfer that over to competition again.”
Osmond’s litany of injuries heading into the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi was well-documented. The highest hope for a medal in Canadian women singles was far from 100 per cent physically, yet she still managed to contribute to Canada’s silver medal for overall teams.
Now, with a chance to erase a disappointing period in her professional career, Osmond heads to South Korea healthy, confident and determined. When at one time she would push through the pain and trudge through various injuries, Osmond has now learned to listen to her body, and take a smart and mature approach to preparing to compete on a world’s stage.
“At that time the best way I competed was injured. It was the only way I knew how to compete then, because I had so many different injuries throughout that time of year,” she explains. “I didn’t think about the injury too much when I was competing, I did what I could. I went to physio and got the treatments I needed when I was there. I’ve definitely grown up and my skating is much, much different. Since then I’ve been a lot more diligent about what I do. I do my warm-ups and cool-downs every single day. I still make sure I see a physio ever single week whether I’m injured or not. I make sure that I see a sports psychologist, a massage therapist and do everything I can to keep me as healthy as I can.”
Outside of nearing peek form physically, Osmond’s confidence is at an all-time high heading into Pyeongchang. Much of this heightened form can be attributed to the rapid fire tournament successes of the past year. Excelling in rinks from Japan to Finland and her native Canada did wonders to help shake the sophomore Olympic jitters.
“This year I’m definitely excited, but obviously the nerves are there. I want to skate well, but I’m feeling good and I’m just really excited to go,” Osmond says. “It did give me a lot of confidence, last year, and it has definitely transferred over to this year. I’m making sure I’m still competing well, still placing well at the podiums at every event this year. Having that year last year was incredible. I went from a year that didn’t work out very well in 2016 to having a dream season in 2017. It was exactly what I needed for me to feel ready for this year.”
As for her pre-skate regiment when she touches down at the Olympic village, Osmond plans on keeping things as close to status-quo as possible. While it’s only natural to have pinch-yourself moments when competing at the elite Olympic level, Osmond plans to lay low and keep her composure until showtime.
“I do the same thing at each event. I keep to myself, hide out in my room,” she explains. “I do the same thing as I normally do and that’s usually just keeping quiet and keeping to myself until it’s time to compete. This time I’m going to venture off a little tiny bit and enjoy the experience a little bit more. When it comes time to compete I’m just going to do what I do every time.”
And while all the reps on her home rink, positive thinking and pre-game mantras can do wonders for helping hone a total-package, Osmond credits a great deal of her recent successes to her backing teammates, as well as the support from her family and fans here in Newfoundland and Labrador and her current home in Alberta. It is with those parallel family networks, and a team united under the goal of national success in which Osmond draws immeasurable strength heading into Pyeongchang.
“Everyone is super supportive. It’s amazing having that support,” Osmond says. “I’ve had a roller-coaster over the past four years, not knowing what to expect and whether the Olympics was possible. It means a lot to me that people are always there supporting me.”