by Paula Nichols
February 20, 2014 (ISN) – It has been a long couple of weeks for Kaetlyn Osmond. She’s travelled from Edmonton to Sochi to Mannheim and back to Sochi.
But she ended her first Olympic Games nearly as strong as she started them and that is what makes her proud and satisfied with her 13th place finish in the ladies’ event to close the figure skating competition.
“I started off my Olympic experience with a great clean short program in the team event and even though I didn’t have a good long in the team event or a good short in the individual event I still managed to have a good long overall, so I’m actually really excited with this four-times-in-a-competition thing,” said Osmond.
“This individual event definitely helped me enjoy the (Olympic) experience more. The team event was more expecting I guess. I didn’t enjoy it as much. But I definitely enjoyed the experience that I had this time.”
Osmond was the greenest member of the silver medal-winning team with just one Grand Prix and one world championship under her belt. Aside from veteran ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, she was only team member asked to compete in both programs.
By the time she got to the end of her four-minute free skate on Thursday, she was visibly fatigued. Coach Ravi Walia noted that he had never seen her that tired, but could see it developing as the program went along.
“It’s emotionally draining, but I think she was prepared to compete four times at the Olympics and she put in a lot of energy,” said Walia.
Additionally, Osmond said that she’s been fighting recurring pain in her hamstring the last couple of days, an injury that had forced her to withdraw from both of her fall Grand Prix events. She has been going for physiotherapy and treatment at least once a day.
As the first female Winter Olympian from Newfoundland and now the province’s first female Winter Olympic medallist, Osmond has been getting quite a bit of attention from down east. She says she will return home in April, following the world championships, but was quite amused by what she read on Twitter after the short programs.
“People were mentioning how they shut down classes and work and people were running into convenience stores and stuff when they were on the road saying ‘ok we need to find a tv somewhere.’ It was pretty cool.”
Canada’s other entry in the ladies’ event, 16-year-old Gabrielle Daleman, finished 17th.
The evening belonged to the host country, with Adelina Sotnikova capturing Russia’s first-ever Olympic gold in the ladies’ event in a hotly contested battle with defending champion Yuna Kim of South Korea. Italy’s Carolina Kostner took the bronze.