Os­mond re­tires as reign­ing world cham­pion, Olympic medal­list

The Western Star - - SPORTS - ROBIN SHORT

Marys­town’s darling is hanging up her skates.

Kaet­lyn Os­mond, the reign­ing world women’s fig­ure skat­ing champ and 2018 Olympic bronze medal­list, an­nounced on Twit­ter Thurs­day she is re­tir­ing from com­pet­i­tive fig­ure skat­ing.

“I guess it’s of­fi­cially out there for ev­ery­one to know,” Os­mond posted. “I am no longer go­ing to be com­pet­ing. I’ve per­son­ally known this for a while, but to hear it of­fi­cially an­nounced, it doesn’t sound real. I am ex­cited about fu­ture plans that I have, and I can’t wait to share them with you!”

Her gold medal in Mi­lan, Italy, was the first world cham­pi­onship win for a Cana­dian woman since the great Karen Mag­nussen, who won in 1973.

In South Korea, her bronze was Canada’s first medal in women’s fig­ure skat­ing since Joan­nie Ro­chette placed third in Vancouver eight years ago.

Her re­tire­ment from com­pet­i­tive skat­ing doesn’t come as a com­plete sur­prise. Last April, she vis­ited her na­tive Marys­town for the first time in four years, and hinted at the time that re­tire­ment was loom­ing.

“I love com­pet­ing at the Olympics,” she said, “and I’ve got­ten the op­por­tu­nity to skate in two of them al­ready.

“They’re just so exciting, and it’s the one time ev­ery four years the en­tire coun­try and world comes together. So it’s al­ways exciting to go out and rep­re­sent Canada on the big­gest stage ever.

“It’s def­i­nitely in the back of my mind to com­pete there four years from now. That said, I’m tak­ing it year by year. Four years is a long commitment.

“The last four years were re­ally, re­ally hard,” she said. “I didn’t re­al­ize it as I was do­ing it, but sit­ting down I hon­estly can’t be­lieve I did it. It wasn’t a smooth ride, that’s for sure.”

At the height of her train­ing, Os­mond was a vir­tual ath­letic ma­chine. Of­ten up and gone at 6 a.m. and home by 6 p.m., in be­tween were three one-hour on-ice train­ing ses­sions five days a week, and daily off-ice train­ing ses­sions which were a com­bi­na­tion of strength train­ing, car­dio, stretching and mas­sage.

Then there was the bal­let work, and meet­ings with sports psy­chol­o­gists and nu­tri­tion­ists.

Os­mond’s career was nearly scut­tled in 2014 when she suf­fered a bro­ken right leg seven months af­ter her Olympic de­but in Sochi, Russia.

The in­jury re­quired a cou­ple of surg­eries, and kept her off the ice for nearly a year.

She returned with a vengeance, win­ning the sil­ver medal at the 2017 world cham­pi­onships, shar­ing the podium with team­mate Gabrielle Dale­man, who won bronze.

It was the first time two Cana­dian women had stood together at the world cham­pi­onship top three.

Os­mond, now 23 and a res­i­dent of Ed­mon­ton since she was 10, left Marys­town when she was eight, along with her older sister, Natasha, an out­stand­ing skater as well, to live and train with coach Josee Pi­card in Montreal.

FILE

Kaet­lyn Os­mond, orig­i­nally from Marys­town, shows off the gold medal she won at the 2018 world fig­ure skat­ing cham­pi­onship.

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