With a clean short program, capped off by an exuberant jump at the end, Kaetlyn Osmond put the past four frustrating months behind her.
The 18-year-old from Marystown, N.L., is halfway to clinching her spot on Canada’s figure skating team for the Sochi Olympics, winning the women’s singles short program at the Canadian championships Friday.
Osmond was sidelined for a good chunk of the last four months, with first an ankle injury and then a torn hamstring, and admitted to wondering at times if she’d make it back in time for Sochi.
“I have this little jump at the end of my program and I think I put more energy into that little half jump than I did into my entire program because I was so excited,” Osmond said, laughing. “And when I went to do my curtsy, I couldn’t help but be relieved.”
Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the short dance, scoring 76.16 points.
Osmond landed a triple flip-triple toe loop combination, then a triple Lutz to score 70.3 points for her ’60s-inspired performance to “Big Spender” and “Rich Man’s Frug.”
Canada has two berths in women’s singles for the Sochi Olympics. The Olympic figure skating team will be announced Sunday.
Osmond, who was eighth in her world championship debut last year, suffered a stress reaction in August, and then tore her hamstring during the short program at Skate Canada in October, forcing her to withdraw before the free skate.
Her treatment included a cortisone shot and platelet-rich plasma treatment — the injection of platelet-rich blood into an injury (three-time world champion Patrick Chan had PRP for a calf injury prior to the Vancouver Olympics).
She was off the ice for more than two weeks, and it was several weeks before she was back to doing jumps and spins.
“When I got back on the ice I could barely do my crosscuts still, so I had to work so many edges and so many stroking exercises before I could even think about jumping,” Osmond said. “It was really hard during those times to even think that Nationals was coming up, time was going so fast, and I was still not even on the ice.”
Osmond has only one full competition under her belt this season — Skate Canada Challenge, a qualifying for nationals last month in Regina that she won.
“The only thing that’s missing is the competition experience and the momentum, and this is going to help her so much,” said her Edmonton-based coach Ravi Walia.
Osmond has come to look at the last few frustrating months as a blessing in disguise.
“I learned so much from it,” she said. “It actually helped my training because it hurt to fall (after the hamstring injury), so I had to learn perfect technique. It hurt when I did the wrong technique because my leg would swing out to the side too much. So in a way it’s a good thing.”