MARYSTOWN, NL — Kaetlyn Osmond claimed the bronze medal in women’s figure skating at the PyeongChang, but for the people of Marystown she was golden.
For the second time this week they stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, gathering at the local arena that bears Osmond’s name, to watch the 22-year-old fight for a position on the Olympic podium.
The 22-year-old native of the town of Marystown, who skated to the music from “Black Swan”, earned the bronze medal after her long program on Friday.
Abby McCarville, 10, said she was excited to get to stay up late to see Osmond skate.
“I am very happy I got to stay out and . . . experience the happiness of Kaetlyn Osmond getting a medal.”
McCarville, who is a member of the Ice Crystals Figure Skating Club, said she is also looking forward to April when her and the other members of the club will have the opportunity to skate with Osmond, who will be this year’s special guest skater at their annual ice show.
She said is looking forward to getting some tips from Osmond during her visit.
“Like (some) advice to help me get better at (certain) things.”
McCarville said it might be a long day for her at school after staying up to watch Osmond skate, “I don’t know,” she said. “Probably, I might be a bit tired.”
Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said he suspects those who gathered in the arena were not the only ones to have stayed up late to watch Osmond.
“When I drove here tonight (at) about quarter to 12, I noticed everyone’s living room lights were on. I think the whole community was up watching what happened…”
Synard said Osmond gave an overwhelming performance during her long program skate.
“She’s a world class athlete and for Kaetlyn to do so well on this…major international stage (with) the pressure she was under (is) truly amazing,” he said.
“Kaetlyn is a great ambassador for the country now, and for the province, but she is the perfect ambassador for Marystown, NL,” he said. “She’s so humble and she’s so levelheaded, we really love her in Marystown, and we want the best for her with whatever she chooses to do in life from here on end as well.”
Synard said the town will be rolling out the red carpet when Kaetlyn comes to visit in April.
“(We’re going to) show her how much we respect her, (and) we appreciate what she’s done for us and for herself. She’ll get the royal treatment, without a doubt.”
Early days in Marystown
Long time arena worker Gerard Baker, who has worked at the arena in Marystown for 38 years, said he can still remember seeing Kaetlyn first take to the ice in Marystown.
“She was only three years old when she was here first skating,” said Baker.
He said during his years working at the local rink he has seen a number of talented kids pass through the doors.
Baker said that he recalls how determined Osmond was during those early days at the local rink.
“Whenever she was on the ice and when she fell down, she’d cry and come off (the ice) and get up in her mom or dad’s arm, go to the bathroom and get her tears dried up, and before you knew it back on the ice again.”
Baker said it is an amazing experience to see someone who grew up in the town to go on the win an Olympic medal.
“To see someone come from here…and now be on the Olympic stage it’s phenomenal.”
Baker said that he has witnessed a growth in the sport locally as Kaetlyn’s popularity has increased.
“The kids really look up to her now, and want to be like her.”
Baker said that looking back to the little girl taking her first skate at the arena it is hard to believe how far she has come.
“I could never even have imagined it, that someone (from the town) would go this far.”
Alone with fans, family members were also at the arena on Friday morning to support Kaetlyn.
Osmond’s brother Gary said he was very proud of her performance.
“What can I say, I’m filled with pride,” he said. “She took home a bronze medal, on top of the gold team medal.”
Garry said Osmond credits her older sister for getting her interested in figure skating.
“It actually started out here 22 years ago, when my sister Natasha; she started out here at about two or three years old herself.”
He added two years after Natasha joined, Kaetlyn also joined figure skating.
“That’s how it all started. I guess the rest is history.”