Canadian champion Kaetlyn Osmond is entering one of the biggest seasons of her figure skating career. After winning a silver medal at worlds, she is a top contender for an Olympic medal.
However, Osmond isn’t letting those high expectations create pressure.
“It’s not really real to me yet so I’m just going to ‘roll with it’ for now,” Osmond told CBC.
Here’s more on the two-time Canadian champion and Olympic (team) silver medallist:
1. Osmond Won Silver at the 2017 World Championships
Osmond captured a silver medal at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships. Although the competition was back in April, the title still hasn’t sunk in for the 21-year-old.
“It has been six months, pretty much, since worlds and it still hasn’t fully registered,” Osmond told the Regina-Leader Post. “People keep saying that I’m a world silver medalist and half the time I don’t even believe what they’re saying.
“It’s really exciting and definitely something I never thought I’d be able to say in my life. I’ve worked really hard for it, and the Canadian fans — and every fan around the world who has supported me — have been a big help.”
Toronto’s Gabrielle Daleman finished third in women’s singles, marking the first time Canada has had two women on the podium at the event.
“It was such an incredible feeling,” Osmond told CBC. “To be able to stand on the podium and see one Canadian flag raised is one thing, but to see two, it feels like you’re not alone. Figure skating is such an individual sport, but to have a teammate on the podium with you is unbelievable.”
Osmond felt it brought a new level of respect for Canadian ladies.
“We haven’t had a consistent lady other than Joannie Rochette and a few others, but there haven’t been that many ladies. We’ve always had a man or a pairs team or a dance team, so this year I think it brought a lot of respect having two Canadian ladies for the first time ever on the world podium.
“Throughout the year, we kept capitalizing on how well the Canadian ladies have done. I can see even in the younger levels that the Canadian ladies are trying to risk more elements and trying harder things, trying to compete not just at the Canadian level but at an international level. That has really helped with getting a fan base to support the ladies more.”
2. Osmond Missed the 2014-15 Season
Osmond’s silver-medal finish at worlds marked a major moment for the figure skater, who suffered a gruesome injury during a practice session in September 2014.
She swerved to avoid another skater and fell, fracturing the fibula in her leg. The X-rays were daunting, showing the fibula snapped sideways in two places. The injury sidelined Osmond for the rest of the season.
After two surgeries, Osmond faced much uncertainty in her figure skating career and an onerous comeback. She didn’t even qualify for worlds in 2016.
“When I broke my leg, I never thought I’d ever be skating again let alone be standing on a world podium,” she told CBC after winning silver at worlds. “I had to relearn how to skate, relearn how to even stand on one foot again. I had to relearn all my technique.”
Osmond’s 2016-17 season proved her resiliency. Earlier in the season, after winning silver at both her Grand Prix events, Osmond became the first Canadian woman to qualify for the ISU Grand Prix Final since Joannie Rochette in 2009.
3. Osmond Started Figure Skating at Age 3
Osmond began skating at age three, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Natasha.
Due to a lack of ice during the summer in her hometown of Marystown, Newfoundland the Osmond sisters often traveled to Montreal to train.
In April 2014, Marystown renamed their home rink to Kaetlyn Osmond Arena, and also named a street after her.
“They presented me with a symbolic key to the town,” Osmond told the Golden Skate. “That means so much to me and makes what I have already accomplished, and what I still wish to accomplish in the future, more special to me.”
When her sister Natasha moved to Montreal full-time, the family followed in 2005. The family then relocated to Edmonton because her father Jeff, who had been an offshore oil worker in the Persian Gulf, was ready to return to Canada full-time.
Since the age of ten, Osmond has trained at the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club in Edmonton. She works alongside coach Ravi Walia and choreographer by Lance Vipond.
Osmond told the Regina-Leader Post that nerves never fazed her in the early days of competition.
“When I was younger, I just loved to compete so much that nerves never fazed me,” she said. “I never dreamed of going to the Olympics or worlds or something that was far beyond my reach in my head. I just never thought it was possible, so I loved going to competitions and enjoying what I could do in that moment.”
After breaking her right leg in 2014, Osmond said she struggled with nerves for the first time in her career.
“I had a hard time coming back and competing again,” Osmond admitted to the Regina-Leader Post. “For the first time, at 19 years old, I felt nerves and I didn’t know how to deal with them. I worked really hard with a sports psychologist to help control that and to use the nerves to my advantage.”
Her advice to other figure skaters who have competition jitters?
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that if I’m nervous, I just have to admit that I am, because there’s nothing you can do to change it,” she said. “If you feel nervous, you just deal with it and move on.”
4. Osmond Owns a Cockapoo
Osmond is an dog-lover and the proud owner of a cockapoo named Rasquette.
“Her name is Rasquette, because she’s a rascal. Because she’s a girl, I called her a lady Rasquette,” Osmond told the Regina-Leader Post. “I actually bought her on my way to worlds this year. I had it in my brain that I needed a dog and I couldn’t think of anything else, so on my way to worlds, I thought I needed to have a dog or I wouldn’t be able to focus on the competition.”
However, Rasquette was too young to take home at the time and had to stay with her mom and the other puppies.
“My dad actually picked her up on the way to the airport to pick me up from worlds, so it was really good,” Osmond said. “Her first day home was my first day home.”
5. Osmond Won Gold at Her First Senior ISU Grand Prix Event
Osmond won gold at her first senior ISU Grand Prix event, Skate Canada International, in October 2012.
She went on to win her first senior national title at the 2013 Canadian Championships. It was the first time in ten years that a ladies’ single skater from outside Quebec won the Canadian title.
Unfortunately, she then had several setbacks due to injuries. Osmond was forced to withdraw from the Grand Prix events in the fall of 2013 after suffering a hamstring injury. However, she mad an impressive comeback in January 2014— winning her second straight Canadian title. The win qualified her for Sochi 2014 where she helped Canada win silver in the inaugural Olympic team event.