Canadian figure skating champ from Marystown focuses on earning Olympic berth
Kaetlyn Osmond is punching in plenty of hours of hard work to ensure she’s ready for the 2013-14 figure skating season, far and away the most important of her young career.
© Photo by Robin Short/The Telegram
Kaetlyn Osmond is interviewed by CBC TV’s Debbie Cooper at the Mount Pearl Glacier on Tuesday.
“Generally, my day will start at 9 a.m., and I’ll be working with a personal trainer three times a week,” she said. “I’ll also be doing Pilates and ballet once or twice a week. Then it’s on the ice for three hours in the afternoon.
“That’s five hours a day, five days a week. You need to do that to ensure you’re best prepared.”
Osmond, who hails from Marystown, is the reigning Canadian women’s and Skate Canada figure skating champion, and while she’s no lock to represent Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, there’s a good chance she will be skating in Russia in February.
Osmond needs a top -two finish at the nationals slated for January in Ottawa to punch her ticket to the Olympics.
“If by some fluke that doesn’t happen, there are some other deciding factors (which could allow her a trip to the Olympics),” she said.
Over the weekend and on Monday, Osmond was back in her native Marystown, where she received a hero’s welcome.
On Tuesday, she met with the media at the Mount Pearl Glacier.
The 17-year-old burst upon the national skating last season with her showing at Skate Canada and nationals. She finished eighth overall in the world championship, after two falls in the long program knocked her from the four spot she occupoied after the short program.
Her top 10-finish was good enough to guarantee Canada two spots in women’s skating at the Olympic Games.
Michael Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s high performance director, dubbed her one of the “revelations” of the week in London, Ont., site of the worlds last March.
It’s been a long road for Osmond from the Marystown Arena to Canadian Olympic team hopeful, and it hasn’t been easy.
Sacrifice is the obvious word to describe not only her path, but her family’s as well.
She was only eight and her sister, Natasha, was 10 when they moved to Montreal to train under renowned coach Josee Picard.
Natasha Osmond found a pairs partner in Montreal, and her younger sister tagged along.
Her parents, Jeff and Jackie, also made the move to Montreal, where the girls remained for two years. After a while, and unable to find employment, the parents moved to Fort McMurray, but the girls remained behind in Montreal where they stayed with Picard.
Eventually, an aunt moved to Montreal and the sisters moved in with her until a decision was made to move to Alberta and join their parents.
That was seven years ago.
Today, Osmond skates with the Ice Palace FSC in Edmonton.
“It was hard,” Kaetlyn Osmond recalls, “but probably harder on my sister. I was only eight, and like, ‘Cool! I get to go somewhere.’
“My parents had it the hardest. They were in Marystown all their lives and they just packed up and moved.”
For Kaetlyn, it’s paying off. No doubt, had she remained in Marystown, the chances of her winning Skate Canada and the nationals, and finishing eighth in the world would have been difficult, to say the least.
Much the same as hockey star Daniel Cleary, who moved away from Riverhead, Harbour Grace at 14 to play junior A hockey in Kingston, Ont.
“Had I stayed here, I probably would not have been as focused and I needed to be, and to be honest, it’s a lot harder to get recognized coming from a small town,” she said.
For now, Osmond has her sights set on Skate Canada, the nationals and the Olympic Games.
Down the road, it’s a world championship, although first thing is first
“I never thought the Olympics were even possible for me,” she said. “And now here I am on the cusp of going.
“And I used to think a medal at the Olympics was way beyond reach.
“Now these things all seem within reach. Over the next year, maybe I’ll starting thinking of even higher goals.”