20 below: Kaetlyn Osmond

Kaetlyn Osmond
Hometown: Marystown, N.L.
Executive summary: a Canadian figure skating champion who has competed in 11 international competitions, including the 2014 Olympic winter games where she won a silver medal (team event) and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships (finished 11th overall).

ABM: Who is Kaetlyn Osmond? – Family? School? Hobbies? Best and worst qualities?
KO: I am the youngest of three kids – older sister and older brother. I have graduated from high school, but haven’t decided what to go into post-secondary for yet. My hobbies include relaxing – watching tv, reading books, hanging out with friends – taking pictures and editing them. My best quality would probably be my positive attitude and my positive outlook on anything I do and try to do. My worst quality is most likely my ability to be overly talkative. 

ABM: Who inspires you?
KO: My inspiration growing up was my sister. She had such an amazing work ethic on the ice and she was always beautiful to watch. She put the competitive spirit in me by always challenging me to do something that she was doing. Even though she’s retired from skating, she’s still always my inspiration. 

ABM: When, how and most importantly ‘why’ did figure skating become your passion?
KO: Figure Skating became my passion back when I was four years old and already out of CanSkate. I got into skating because of my sister, but it became my passion because I just always felt my most comfortable on the ice. Skating became my passion because of how happy it made me feel just to feel the ice beneath my feet and the cold against my cheeks. Even at a young age, I liked to perform, and that passion for performing still burns deep inside me. 

ABM: How often do you train? What does your training entail?
KO: I train six days a week. Five of the days consist of three hours of on-ice training, and another hour of either strength training, pilates, or ballet. My sixth day of training consists of just an hour on a bike just to keep my legs moving on the weekends. 

ABM: Where do you find the motivation to keep training, even when you’re sick and tired or want to go hang out with friends?
KO: The motivation really comes from deep within. It comes from me loving what I am doing. When I have my moments of forgetting my love for the sport, I have my friends and family and coaches there behind me to remind me why I do what I do. When I feel like I really can’t do anything else, I always do something that just makes me feel strong again. Do something fun on the ice. Not just do the same repetitive training. I switch things up, which makes things always feel fresh and new, which helps with the motivation.

ABM: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
KO: I really don’t know where I see myself in 10 years’ time. I really just go on a day-to-day schedule and not look too far into the future. 

ABM: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
KO: I would like to say my greatest accomplishment would be making the Olympic team and being a part of the silver medal winning team. However what really gives me the happiest feeling was my gaining my second national title. After the constant injuries putting me out of my early season, to put out two perfect programs at nationals, that is what I think is my greatest accomplishment. 

ABM: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
KO: The hardest thing I have ever had to do was keep a positive attitude while being forced off the ice with injuries. 

ABM: Most embarrassing moment?
KO: Most embarrassing moment would be this year at World’s on one of my practices. I was one of the only people left on the ice and there were quite a few fans in the stands watching. Going to the middle of the ice for a curtsey, I hit a toe pick doing nothing and just slid across the ice on my stomach.

ABM: What’s the most difficult/challenging aspect about being an Olympian?
KO: The biggest challenge is making sure I am being the best that I can be at all times. Not just on the ice, but how I act and carry myself off the ice. There are a lot of people who look up to Olympians and I’ve met a lot of people who see me as a role model. I don’t want to let these people down because it means so much to me having them supporting me. So it is a challenge to make sure I make no mistakes. 

ABM: What do you do to have fun/relax? Do you have a favorite band/song?
KO: To have fun I love to just hang out with my friends and just have a good time when I am not in training mode. It gives me a break from the constant focus and just relaxes me. I listen to way too many songs to actually have a favourite one. Anything upbeat and fun to dance to is what I like the most.

ABM: Any regrets about devoting so much time and energy to figure skating? Are there days you wish you could just be a “normal” teenager?
KO: I never regret what I have put into this sport. Whenever I wonder what it would be like if I was a normal teenager, I remind myself I wouldn’t have been able to have all the experiences I have had, like traveling the world, getting the rush of learning new things or performing in front of a crowd, and standing on top of a podium. My life would have been so much more different and I would’ve regretted not putting that time and energy into figure skating. 

ABM: one of our staff happened to be at a supermarket in Mount Pearl, NL when you performed your first routine at the Olympics. As she entered the store, there were a couple of hundred people gathered around a big screen TV to watch you skate. How do those types of stories make you feel? Does the support help you to skate better, or does it increase the pressure to win?
KO: Those stories make me incredibly happy. I know how much work I put into my skating, and knowing so many people support me and enjoy watching what I love to do, it makes me feel like everything I am doing is so much more rewarding. Having that support helps me immensely. When I make new accomplishments it makes me so much happier knowing that it isn’t just me accomplishing that, it is everyone who supports me and pushes me forward that accomplishes it with me. 

ABM: Any words of advice for other young people with big dreams?
KO: My advice to everyone is to have fun with anything you want to do. If you are not enjoying what it is you are doing, your heart and soul won’t be fully into it and tasks seem to be much harder. Nothing is easy, but loving it and having a passion for it will make the hard times seem possible to get through.

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