Kaetlyn Osmond: “I try to engage the crowd”

Kaetlyn Osmond competes at 2013 Worlds

By Vladislav Luchianov

When 2013 Canadian national champion Kaetlyn Osmond won her first international title, the Nebelhorn Trophy at the beginning of this past season, I confidently said to myself that Canada has now a new rising skating star.

When she captivated London’s audience at the 2013 World Championships, it became quite clear to me that this is a world-class rising star.

Kaetlyn’s first complete season in senior skating can be called more than just a successful one. She took three gold medals: at 2012 Nebelhorn, at 2012 Skate Canada and at 2013 Canadian national championships.

She showed very good results in all other scheduled competitions, finishing seventh at 2013 Four Continent Champs, eighth at 2013 Worlds and contributing much to the Team Canada’s silver at 2013 World Team Trophy.

But not only her results attract figure skating fans to her performances. This skater has a very high artistry and – very importantly – this is a very natural and unique artistry. Even her difficult technical elements look very natural. When she performs, I often catch myself thinking that scores, points, levels, angles, GOEs and overall standing do not matter at such moments. All that becomes unimportant.

The only important thing is that the audience gets a true pleasure seeing what a great joy Kaetlyn gets from figure skating. That’s the most important thing.

Kaetlyn began skating in Marystown, a Canadian town in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the habitants recognized successes of its native daughter by erecting a “Welcome to Marystown: Home of Kaetlyn Osmond” sign.

Marystown sign dedicated to Kaetlyn Osmond

The author talked with Kaetlyn about her impressions on this past season, about the love for skating and about plans for the next season.

Kaetlyn, what are your impressions of this past season?

Kaetlyn Osmond: The past season has just been unbelievable. My goals for the season were to achieve a total score of 170 points and to place in the top ten at Worlds; to accomplish these goals as well as winning the Nebelhorn Trophy, Skate Canada and Canadian Nationals. I’m just so excited with how well things went and I am more motivated to keep working towards higher goals.

Have you expected such a good start in senior skating? What are your thoughts about moving up to the figure skating elite?

Osmond: I didn’t think I would achieve such great accomplishments in my senior debut. Knowing that I have done so well this season and being a part of such an elite group of skaters is very exciting. Just to be among so many amazing skaters and competing with them is a real honor.

What moment was the best one for you in this season and why?

Osmond: It is really hard to pick one moment that has been the best, because every competition has really been a wonderful experience for me. Winning my first international competition was probably the most special. The Nebelhorn Trophy gave me so much confidence for the rest of the season.

I had no expectations beforehand and had no idea what I was going to experience. It was so amazing to stand at the top of an international podium, to see the Canadian flag rise and to hear the national anthem. It was an experience that I will never forget and at that moment I realized I wanted to keep experiencing that feeling.

You cope very well with keeping a balance between difficult technique and artistic part of performances. What is your “key enabler” for that?

Osmond: In my opinion, the technical and artistic sides of skating are equally important. The artistic side always came more naturally to me than the technical aspect. I work really hard in practice to balance the two sides and in competition I try to engage the crowd. If I try to put on a show for the audience, it makes the technical side easier for me because it allows me to rely on my muscle memory and not over think during my performance.

Kaetlyn Osmond at 2013 World Team Trophy

It seems like you are very good at getting into the right frame of mind and maintaining your confidence for important competitions. How are you able to do this?

Osmond: Growing up I skated very well at most of my competitions. This gave me a lot of confidence and the nerves have never really bothered me. Now when I go to bigger competitions against more experienced skaters, I try to just think about it like all the competitions I’ve done before. I go in with a goal and I try to focus on myself. And then, when I get on the ice and hear the audience cheering, I can absorb their energy and it keeps me very calm and confident.

Looking at your performances and your great desire to skate, it’s difficult to image that Kaetlyn Osmond can be tired. How do you cope with such things as fatigue after competitions, grueling training sessions, skating under pressure, etc.?

Osmond: I do get tired after competitions or after a long week of training. Dealing with that can be hard. Of course, resting and eating well helps me recover. And taking a day off here and there helps too.

I also find it helps to be with friends. Sometimes you start to feel like there is nothing outside of skating and it can make you quite tired. However, when I take some time to hang out with friends, it takes my mind off skating for a while and when I get back on the ice, I feel so much more refreshed.

Kaetlyn Osmond at Holiday Festival on Ice

Your free skating program “Carmen” suited you very well. Are there any new images which you would like to create on the ice?

Osmond: I have no specific images in mind that I would like to portray. For the next season, I want the audience to see a whole new side to me. I showed this year that “Carmen” was a character I could portray very well, and next year I want to show a completely different side of me and hope the audience will like it.

Tell us about your goals for the next skating year.

Osmond: I’m really excited for the next skating season. My goals are to make it to the Olympics and to improve on my performances from last season. I want to skate more clean programs and work on improving my program components. I really want to make the Grand Prix Final and place in the top six at Olympics or Worlds next season. This past season I achieved my goal of placing in the top ten and now I’m really excited to work towards the top six.

Read also: Coach Ravi Walia impressed by Osmond’s successes

Photo: The Southern Gazette; Kaetlyn Osmond’s supporters FB group.

Follow the author on Twitter: @worldskating          Join WFS on Facebook

WFS - An independent online sports magazine