Top News

Kaetlyn Osmond is Olympic-bound again

After skating for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Kaetlyn Osmond, a Marystown native, is off to the Olympics again next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.
After skating for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Kaetlyn Osmond, a Marystown native, is off to the Olympics again next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month. - Canadian Press

It's no surprise, but Marystown native, fresh off national silver medal, named to Canada's teams for 2018 Winter Games

By Laurie Nealin

Special to The Telegram-Vancouver


It’s official.
Kaetlyn Osmond is headed to her second Olympic Winter Games.
Sunday, at a special Canadian Olympic Committee reception at the UBC campus, the Marystown native was helped into the coveted 2018 Team Canada jacket by COC president Tricia Smith, as Osmond’s parents, Jeff and Jackie, and grandmother, Claudia Lambe, looked on.  
Osmond is among the 17 figure skaters named to the Canadian team — two men and three women, pairs and ice dancers — that will compete on Olympic ice next month at Gangneung arena in South Korea.
Despite relinquishing her national crown to Gabby Daleman on Saturday, Osmond’s silver medal here, her two golds and a bronze on the fall Grand Prix circuit - not to mention her status as the reigning world silver medallist - made her an obvious choice for the team.
As a sign of the times, she got notification that her Olympic assignment was official last night via text message.
“It was definitely really exciting, definitely different than four years ago but equally as exciting,” said Osmond, 22.
With the Games now just four weeks off, Osmond will return to Edmonton to try to work out the glitches that surfaced in both her short and long programs at the Canadian championships this past weekend.
“It will be just more repetition (skating the programs), more focus on each element just to get clean programs done so I can skate great there,” Osmond said.
Her long-time coach Ravi Walia noted, “I think Kaetlyn is on the right track. There’s a couple of adjustments that need to be made, but she is definitely ready to succeed at the Olympics. Looking at her personality, she’s a pretty easy-going, low-stress person. She loves the pressure and excitement of competition and she’ll be prepared.
“We want to peak at the Olympics, and I think she’s on track for that.”
Hampered by injury during the 2014 Olympic season, Osmond came away from her first experience competing under the Olympic rings with a team silver medal and a 13th place finish in her individual event.


“The last few years, I’ve noticed Canadian ladies are willing to risk more (difficult jumps) to fight and be medal contenders. We’re not just competing to be the best in Canada, we’re now competing to be the best in the world.”
Kaetlyn Osmond

Four years later, she’ll head to the Pyeongchang Games as a medal threat.
Asked about U.S. news reports that cited Russian and Japanese women as the frontrunners for the Olympic podium while failing to include the Canadians, Osmond was understanding of the media’s oversight.  
“It’s something new for Canadian ladies to be at the top. In 2010, Joannie (Rochette) was one of the top athletes, for sure, but in 2014 Canada didn’t have any medal contenders (in the women’s event.) It’s almost easy to forget that Gabby (Daleman) and I came second and third last year - definitely something I haven’t forgotten - but it is easy to forget, especially with the Russian and Japanese skaters continually at the top. They’re always so consistent that people always just assume they’re going to be the top fighters for the medals.
“Gabby and I can easily fight for a podium finish this time (in Korea),” Osmond said of her Toronto-based teammate, who outskated her to claim her second national title on Saturday.
“The last few years, I’ve noticed Canadian ladies are willing to risk more (difficult jumps) to fight and be medal contenders. We’re not just competing to be the best in Canada, we’re now competing to be the best in the world.”
Thanks to the Canadians superb showing at the 2017 worlds, Canada earned the right to send the full complement of three women to the Olympics for the first time in about half a century. Larkyn Austman, who finished with the bronze medal here, was the third woman named to the team Sunday.
“For me, it’s a feeling of a team. But while I’m on the ice, I almost forget that there are other athletes there,” Osmond admitted. “But it’s just exciting to have everyone there, and it’s as much a team atmosphere as we can make it, but I’m definitely focused on myself.”
Osmond’s mindset has changed this season as she builds towards the Games. She has been focused not just on making it to the Olympics but, “to skate my best at the Olympics and fight as hard as I can to make the podium.”
She has been working continuously with a sports psychologist for the last two years to improve her mental game.
“It’s been working really well. It takes a bit of the pressure away from medalling. That pressure’s just a bit of excitement, and I can go out there knowing that people are behind me who are supporting me and I just have to do my job.”
Osmond will likely be tapped to compete in the Olympic team figure skating event, as well as competing in the individual women’s competition.
Canada qualified in top spot for that relatively new Olympic competition (Canada won silver in 2014). Given its considerable depth in men’s pairs and ice dance, as well as in the women’s discipline, the Canadian team is considered a frontrunner for team gold. Whether Osmond will skate her short or long program or both in the event will not be announced until just before the event kicks off on Feb. 8.
Last year, Osmond had the opportunity to compete in the Olympic venue at the Four Continents Championship. Having a familiarity with the country and the rink will serve her well when she lands in South Korea next month.
“Learning the layout of the rink, the type of audience that will be there, was a good experience,” she said. “I could figure out where I could warm-up, where I could go between the warm-up and when I compete. I just got really comfortable, and the atmosphere I experienced last year was incredible, so I can only imagine what it will be like this year.”
A month after the Games, Osmond will go for gold at the World championships in Milan, Italy, and has confirmed she will continue to compete next season.

 

Recent Stories