In Conversation with Kaetlyn Osmond
If you've heard of figure skating, you've probably heard of Kaetlyn Osmond. As Skate Canada's golden-girl-next-door, this Newfoundland-born singles skater has definitely made her mark on ice rinks across the world. From being crowned national, world, and Olympic champion to showing off her gorgeous clockwise jumps at international ice shows, Kaetlyn - or K.O., as she's called by family and friends - has accomplished so much in her only 23 years of life.
After spending the past twelve months in a limbo between competition and retirement, Kaetlyn recently created a website and opened up to the world, writing about her struggles, fears, and insecurities (among other topics). It was quite eye-opening that a world champion could feel the exact same way that I had felt at so many low points in my own life, and I know that thousands of others related to her words in the same way that I did.
I am so happy to have had the opportunity to speak with Kaetlyn about everything from body image issues to the bunk beds on the Thank You Canada tour bus. This interview is a long one, but so worth the read. So settle in, and get to know the wonderful K.O.!
Note: this interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. Kaetlyn and I spoke via Skype, with several entertaining interjections by furry friends and boyfriend Trennt Michaud, from their new home in Brantford, Ontario.
Kaetlyn is all smiles at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games
(Courtesy of Huffington Post Canada)
CATCHING UP WITH K.O.
KAETLYN OSMOND: I'm hoping to have them out every Sunday, but obviously I haven't been very good at that. (laughs)
EoG: Well thank you for being so open on your blog and putting yourself out there, I know it's not easy.
KAETLYN: It was definitely something that needed to be done.
EoG: Yeah, especially in the skating world, where everything is so "hush hush."
KAETLYN: Yep. It's all political, so you have to stay quiet to be able to not step on anyone's toes.
EoG: Ugh, that's the worst. Sometimes I hate it, sometimes I'm like, Why do I like this sport?! Like when unfair judging happens I'm just like, ugh.
KAETLYN: (looks off to the side, laughs) Trennt is agreeing behind you.
KAETLYN: He loves going to those things. On the other hand, I haven't quite made it to one yet.
EoG: Next time! I feel like you'd like that.
KAETLYN: You would think so, and I do like stuff like that, and I like learning about it... but it freaks me out at the same time.
Kaetlyn and boyfriend Trennt Michaud being cute together
OPENING UP ONLINE
KAETLYN: Mainly since Worlds (in 2018), when I finished my program, it was like something got completely drained out of me - I was exhausted, I was done, I didn't want to move anymore, I just wanted to sleep... I pretty much did sleep for an entire week after Worlds! It seemed like to be able to perform my best, I kind of had to shut down and bottle up my emotions and just become kind of a like a robot. Which, I have no regrets for while I skated, but it was definitely hard when everything decided to rush back into me all at once. And I felt very confused, and I didn't know what to do. I was crying almost every day, not able to control anything around me. If someone tried to say something to me, I would just like break down and cry and be like, "I'm so sorry, but I can't stop!"
Some days I was perfectly fine, and other days I could barely move. I didn't know what was next, and I didn't know if I wanted to keep training. It took me a good while to still tell Ravi (Walia, her coach) that I didn't want to do the Grand Prix season (this past fall). And while I'm happy I waited the full year until I officially announced my retirement, it was definitely hard for me to keep pushing it off, to keep essentially lying to everyone, 'cause I kinda knew that I wasn't gonna come back. But I was hiding that side of me from everyone else, and it felt like I was stuck in kind of a limbo world, where I wanted to perform and be myself in front of people, but I couldn't. I wanted to move on with my life and learn new things, but I felt like I couldn't. I struggled a lot with those emotions on the ice, and for two months I was falling on single Axels, and I felt like I completely lost that side of me, lost my ability to skate. But I was still performing and doing shows, and I didn't trust that I'd be able to actually do what I wanted to, so I was very upset after every show. I didn't feel like I performed my best, and I felt guilty people were paying to see a show I wasn't skating well in.
And then more people kept inviting me to shows, so I went to TTYCT (The Thank You Canada Tour), I went to Art on Ice, I did Stars on Ice, I did Korea shows, I did a lot of shows, but I felt like I didn't skate the way I was known for. It was a lot of things that just kept piling up. And I think just not being comfortable with the way that I was on the ice... it was just a lot of things. And just not knowing who I really was anymore outside of the competitive figure skating world, not having a routine like I did every day - it was something that I didn't know how to do. I just needed something that I needed to work towards, so having this website and having the freedom on it to write and be open on it is great.
On waiting a full year to officially announce her retirement, Kaetlyn says,
"It was definitely hard for me to keep pushing it off, to keep essentially lying
to everyone, 'cause I kinda knew that I wasn't gonna come back."
EoG: And then you wrote about turning to social media for validation during this difficult transitional time - I feel like social media was basically invented for validation...
KAETLYN: Yeah, I kept l looking towards it, looking for posts, and getting stuck in that social media trap where you keep searching your name for three hours, seeing what people are writing about you, and seeing all the critical stuff and bad stuff and fake stuff, and trying to be comical about it - I sent it to a couple friends like, "Guys, look how ridiculous this is!" But then it definitely sits in you a little bit harder.
EoG: Social media is a weird thing, like now it's the norm and six-years-olds have Instagrams and stuff.
KAETLYN: Yeah, and I also find it hard how the followers you have determine your worth... for me, it's hard seeing people's followers going up and mine going down like a 100 by the day! And I just watch it go down like, Well this sucks.
EoG: Do people reach out to you a lot on social media?
KAETLYN: Since my website launched, they have a lot more, and I definitely have more time on my hands now where I feel more free to email or message back, which is something that I really enjoy doing, being able to be open to people, not having to hide things, not having to be that full-time optimistic, happy-go-lucky, positive self that I branded myself as while I competed. Having that vulnerable side, I want to be able to communicate more freely like that. And it was very nice, especially for the first couple posts, there was a lot of attention, which made me feel very fulfilled, but for once it wasn't people talking about what I said, it was about how it made them feel, which made it feel more special to me.
"One of the biggest fears that I actually had was after my
retirement to be completely forgotten," Kaetlyn confessed.
FOREVER A NEWFOUNDLANDER
KAETLYN: No, I still think I'm from Newfoundland - whenever people ask where I'm from, I always say Newfoundland. I think I definitely grew up more in Edmonton, and I have more of a city vibe, compared to what a lot of Newfoundlanders have. I still grew up with my family, and they're very heartfelt Newfies, so that's what I got. (laughs) It's a pretty big island, but it's so small at the same time. Everyone's just closer, I guess. A small town vibe in a bigger way.
EoG: I mean, how does it feel having an arena named after you, a street named after you, you got the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador, you got the key to the city... you got like all the honors one could get!
KAETLYN: I still don't believe it! It's pretty cool. It's why I still say I'm from Newfoundland - they've always been so supportive, and I couldn't imagine leaving that side of me behind. Just to have a rink named after me is crazy, let alone everything else. Like with the highway, they were like, "Do you want it to be called the Kaetlyn Osmond Highway?" I'm like, "Mmmm... no." So it's just "Osmond's Way." (gestures to her wall) There's one street sign there for it, and then the other one's behind me somewhere.
Left: the Kaetlyn Osmond Arena in Marystown, Newfoundland
Right: Kaetlyn receiving the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador
EoG: That's how you know you've really made it big, you have street signs of your name in your home.
KAETLYN: I kind of don't know what to do with them, so they kind of just end up on my floor.
EoG: You should put them out front, rename the street you live on.
KAETLYN: We have such a small part of the street, we're at like a dead end.
EoG: When did you guys move into your new place?
KAETLYN: March 1st. I kept it quiet 'til my retirement announcement came out.
EoG: So going back to your earlier days, you started skating because your sister Natasha started first - was there any sibling rivalry? How did competing against each other in the same sport affect your relationship?
KAETLYN: Actually, my sister and I never fought once growing up, probably besides fighting over clothes. Overall, we've actually had a really, really good relationship - we still do - but the sibling rivalry, I think it was more on my end, not hers! She was always the better skater - she had pairs, she had dance, she had all these other things on top of it all. And then I'd just tag along, wanting to do what she was doing. I went to camps because she was going to camps. I flew under the radar for so long. No one really put any pressure on me, which made it a lot more fun.
Kaetlyn in her early skating days
(Right photo courtesy of Skate Canada Newfoundland and Labrador)
EARLY YEARS ON THE ICE
EoG: Growing up in the skating world, what kind of messages were you sent - either directly or indirectly - about body image, weight, dieting, etc.? Early on, did you feel that kind of pressure to like look a certain way?
KAETLYN: When I was younger, not so much, I still kind of flew under the radar a little bit. But I did see my sister struggle with it a lot, especially when we were living in Montreal, when she was about 12 or 13 years old. They (her coaches) were always talking about how... one week she'd be too "big" for the sport, and the next week she was too "skinny," and another she was too "muscular." And I didn't really fully understand that when I was younger, but I could see the annoyance she had with it.
And then for me, it didn't really affect me until I hit senior - about 15, 16 years old - when I got all my jumps for the first time. It felt easier to jump when I was smaller, so then it got into the back of my head then, and it became like a constant thing. It just seemed like everyone else was always smaller, and I was always trying to get to that point. It was almost an everyday conversation. It's gone into my mentality a little bit... or more than a little bit. (grins sheepishly) If I was just that one pound smaller, a four minute program wouldn't feel as hard 'cause I'm not carrying that extra pound around. Even though I think my dresses were an extra pound so... (laughs) It was definitely a struggle. I remember going into the Olympic year, and it was already October, and I remember breaking down crying, thinking that I wouldn't be able to do one of my jumps because my legs were too large.
EoG: Eating disorders and disordered eating are very prevalent in the skating world - what was your experience with that?
KAETLYN: I definitely didn't have an eating disorder, but I found myself jealous of people who did sometimes... which is very strange. And then whenever I felt jealous, I felt very guilty about it, because I know it is a problem. I always felt like it was something I couldn't stick with - I like food too much! - but I felt guilty every time that I ate. There were days where I just forgot to eat, or I skated better if I didn't... but it doesn't last very long. And Ravi could tell the minute I got onto the ice if I hadn't eaten, 'cause I would just be so cranky and not able to focus.
Kaetlyn says, "People need to learn that yeah, there are ways of staying tiny, but you can make your body do what you want at any size, just by doing something that you feel healthy and comfortable with."
(Courtesy of ivimages)
EoG: What do you think we can do to promote extreme fitness and beautiful lines while still encouraging healthy eating habits and positive body image? I feel like it's kind of a catch-22. How do you think we can find a balance in the skating culture?
KAETLYN: I'm still trying to figure that out! The skating is definitely easier when you're smaller, I guess. Unless you talk to Meagan Duhamel and she'll be like, "I just make my body do what I want it to do." (laughs) Everybody's bodies are different, and you'll still look amazing on the ice if you feel great. And for me to feel great - I actually had a great talk with my dietitian - it was always moderation, not to stop myself from eating anything I wanted, just do it in small dosages. She always told me to give into my cravings - in small bits. Like if I wanted a cookie, go eat a cookie, 'cause if not, I was gonna eat like thirty by the end of the week.
And then I found out things that just made me feel better, and things I just didn't feel comfortable eating. Like ice cream. (sighs) I really love ice cream, but my body does not like ice cream. So I found things that made me feel comfortable, and things that made me happy. It's learning the way you feel comfortable and skate best, not worrying if your competitor is half your weight, it shouldn't mean anything.
EoG: Right, because your only competition is yourself... supposedly!
KAETLYN: Exactly! Like when people say, "It must feel great to be on the podium with your teammate." Like yeah... but they're still my competitor.
(Courtesy of Canadian Olympic Committee)
EoG: How do you feel toward your competitors? Have you developed closed friendships with anybody you've been in direct competition with?
KAETLYN: When I was younger, yes, because the people I competed with were the people I trained with, so I was friends with them. I'm definitely friendly with all my competitors, but while we're competing, we don't exactly have time to talk. Especially in ladies' skating, people just like, ignore every bit of life. I always had my headphones on, blasting music, not making direct eye contact with anyone. You can't develop any type of real friendship while you're actually competing against someone. You develop a mutual understanding and admiration for each other, but at the same time, you're competing against them, so you can only become friends to a certain extent. And it's different if you're training mates or... I know the pairs event's a little different, 'cause he's friends with everyone! (looks as Trennt)
TRENNT MICHAUD: All the guys are really close.
KAETLYN: But he also talks to everyone.
TRENNT: I talk to a lot of people.
KAETLYN: So I think it just depends on the way you grow up, I guess.
EoG: It varies in disciplines then?
KAETLYN: Yeah, it definitely does. Pairs, I think, is the most friendly, by far, and then dance depends on if you're a girl or a guy, maybe.
TRENNT: The girls in pairs are still friends, but they still don't talk a lot. The guys, we're not like out-of-our-way talking like crazy, it's just we chat it up in the changing room, and we're very close outside the competitions, as well.
KAETLYN: Men's is still a little bit... pairs is definitely the friendliest. Ladies' is definitely not. I mean, we vary a lot in age, we're (as a whole) often a lot younger, like I'm at the end of my career, and Trennt is just starting his, and we're the same age. The age difference, when you're older, it's easier to talk to people than you're younger. It feels like the ladies switch out so much more often, so you can't develop that close friendship with someone you see like, once in your life.
EoG: I guess it's just when you get a group of girls together, stuff goes down, in some way or another.
KAETLYN: Especially when you're literally competing against each other!
EoG: I mean it's hard enough going through life and being in high school, let alone competing as an elite athlete... even dealing with a few friends, it's just a dynamic with girls. I don't know what it is!
KAETLYN: But at the same time, one of my best friends Anna - her and I have been best friends since I was 10, that's 13 years now, and we've never been in a fight or even disagreed with each other. We've just always gotten along, and I think a big part of that was we did train together in skating growing up. We went to school together all the time, but we also went to a sports school. So there was none of this super-dramatic high school drama because everyone was too exhausted from their own training! You could show up to school with your hair wet from the shower and sweatpants on, and no one would look at you differently. It was such a relaxing atmosphere. There wasn't much drama, and if there was, I was completely oblivious to it!
Even in Stars on Ice, we're together for three weeks, or for Thank You Canada, we were together for two months, and I don't know if it's because there's a mixture of boys amongst the girls, that adds to making sure everyone's relaxed? I don't know, but everyone never really disagreed with each other. We all got along with each other for the most part.
Kaetlyn in rehearsal with the cast of The Thank You Canada Tour,
produced by Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
(Courtesy of Danielle Earl Photography)
THE THANK YOU CANADA TOUR
EoG: And during The Thank You Canada Tour (an ice show tour produced by Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir that went across Canada this past fall), you guys were on a bus too! How was that experience?
KAETLYN: It was fun, I love the bus. I'm excited to be able to go on the bus again! It was just relaxing and kind of fun having that feeling when you're leaving the rink, you just shower and get ready at the rink, then you get on a bus, hang out with everyone for a little bit, and then curl into your little bunk, and then close the curtain that closes in our bunk, makes everything pitch black. You have no idea what year you're in anymore when you wake up! But then you wake up, you're in a new city, you walk outside, you look around and you're like, "Hmm. Let's go again." It was such relaxing and such a cool feeling.
EoG: I heard that an accident happened with the bus, like a truck driver rammed into you or something. I forgot who told me this, but someone said, "Yeah Kaetlyn slept through the whole thing."
KAETLYN: Yeah, that would've been me! I did wake up, obviously, our bus did get into an accident, the truck was on the wrong side of the road. But our driver was amazing and avoided it, the truck clipped the side of our bus, there was a noise. I was asleep in my bunk, and then I woke up to a couple people a little freaked out, and I looked out and was like (in a cheerful voice), "Oh what's going on?" And then, "Oh. We should probably get off the bus."
EoG: Oh my gosh, well I'm glad you all were safe, that's so scary.
KAETLYN: Yeah, it was pretty creepy... going outside was a little scary when we saw where the truck hit us. The outcome was so good that I think we all just thought the positives of it, the fact that everyone was fine.
Kaetlyn is snug as a bug in a... touring bus bunk bed?
EoG: Are you real close with the whole Thank You Canada cast?
KAETLYN: I hope so! We're definitely friends; it's hard not to be when we're in such close quarters for two months. We've been on tours so many other times with people, Stars on Ice and stuff, we've always been this tight little group. There are definitely people who are closer than other, just because they grew up together - I was kind of like the late addition to the group, so I tried to weasel my way in a little bit! But I'm not really good at that. (laughs) And I'm also bad at staying connected with people when we're not on tour, so I definitely feel like I was a little late to the game, but everyone's been very nice, and I feel like I'm friends with them!
KAETLYN: I remember Eric (Radford) was here last week, working with Trennt and Evelyn on a new program, and we were just talking, and he looked at me one time and was like, "I forget that we stand on a podium together," and I'm like, "We stood on two!" (the team event at both the 2014 and 2018 Olympics). Just like the amount of things we've all shared together... yeah!
Kaetlyn stands on the Olympic podium with her teammates in 2018 and 2014
(Courtesy of Canadian Olympic Committee)
EoG: What do you think your favorite memory of The Thank You Canada Tour was?
KAETLYN: Getting in a bus accident! Just kidding. (laughs) It was definitely eventful, but I don't know what my highlight was... I like the bus. The bus was very comforting. I know I wrote before in one of my blogs about hiding away in my hotel room, and I didn't have that option on the bus, 'cause there was no hotel room to hide in! So I think it just forced me to be a lot more open and talkative and to just me amongst people a lot more, which made me feel more comfortable. And then if we had that moment, you just go in your bunk and close the curtain, like "I'm just gonna watch a movie." So it was pretty good, I liked that, and I liked having the option to hang out with people whenever I want.
EoG: Kind of like at university where everybody is in dorms next to each other, and you can just go down the hall, and it doesn't take a lot of effort!
KAETLYN: Yeah, see, this whole "effort" thing I'm not good at. (laughs)
Wrapped up in a signed Canadian flag, Kaetlyn smiles as she and her TTYCT castmates at the start of the show
(Courtesy of Danielle Earl Photography)
MEETING & GREETING
EoG: What was your experience like with the fans at TTYCT? There were a lot of fans, a lot of meet & greets - you had like 30 meet & greets!
KAETLYN: It was exciting, and it was really cool to see so many sold-out rinks. Everyone was definitely very excited - coming off an Olympic year, it's hard not to be. Especially with the group that we had on the tour. And then we also tried to involve the crowd a lot, so that was a lot of fun. But getting so many people to try and do a flash mob dance... not everyone wants to, and it's really fun to try to yell at them to get them going!
EoG: (does the flash mob choreography from TTYCT)
KAETLYN: Thank you! (laughs) So that was really fun. But the meet & greets, there were definitely a lot of them, and you realized how much energy they really take. Meeting that many people, you're trying to give off your best self, and especially post-show, you can't guarantee you are your best self! (laughs) But it was really cool hearing their stories, 'cause everyone had their Olympic story and what they were doing in those moments. And that's always really inspiring to hear because, well, from my experience, when I'm competing, I forget that it's such a big thing! And I forget often that there are a lot of people watching!
And realizing how many non-Canadian fans we have! We had so many Japanese fans, which - well, I knew that part, because Japanese fans are always there and very noticable. But we had like a lot of Australian fans and European fans. The group of 17 girls who showed up to I think five of the shows might have been the coolest thing ever. Just hearing that we brought 17 people together that had never met before - except on Twitter - to five shows... They were so loud and so excited, and when I saw them in the meet & greet line, I was sure they were all like best friends, and then I only just found out that they all had just met only two hours before that point. So that was pretty cool.
The 17 fangirls of #WeTheNorth take TTYCT Mississauga by storm in October 2018
(Courtesy of Taylor)
EoG: That's the power of figure skating, bringing people together from all over the world, all walks of life! At the meet & greets, did any fans make you any cool gifts or art or stuff? What were some of your favorites?
KAETLYN: A puzzle! And a mug! Those were really cool. I think my puzzle's in this room somewhere. I did really enjoy the puzzle. But there's always a lot of posters -
TRENNT: And pictures!
KAETLYN: (shushes Trennt) Shhhh!
TRENNT: I'm leaving in a second, I'm sorry!
KAETLYN: There were definitely some really cool ones, someone made a book about her travels from Spain... or South America? Somewhere? She came from somewhere warm, that's all I know! I remember I did go through the book a couple times, and it was like her journey to watch the shows and stuff like that, which was really cool. And then I got small momentos - I got a boomerang and a koala bear from a girl who came from Australia! They're still in my house, somewhere! I try to keep as many things as I can, but definitely some of them don't make it back, but anything that's super memorable and super loving, I try to bring back and find somewhere in the house for it.
The TTYCT meet & greet was an opportunity for fans Sarah and Viv
to give Kaetlyn the gifts they had made for her
EoG: I know they're not doing meet & greets for Rock The Rink...
KAETLYN: Yeah... I'm not sure why... That's definitely... something. (laughs)
EoG: I don't know if maybe they thought it was too exhausting, that number of shows and meet & greets.
KAETLYN: It was definitely hard on like double show days because we'd go to a meet & greet then have 20 minutes to get ready for the second show, to go do another meet & greet. And then like the five shows in a row, like we would often not leave a meet & greet until after 11:30 PM, and then we'd have to be on a bus to leave right away for our next show the next day.
So it does add up that way... but I don't know if it's because of that, or... I don't know. I really liked the one-on-one fan connection thing, but we always had to be so quick that I always feel a little guilty during those anyways because like, you want to be able to talk to them, but you want to get to the line so, that's definitely a hard thing to try to balance.
EoG: Do you ever feel weird knowing people pay like $100 just to meet you and like take a picture?
KAETLYN: That's really, uh, something that I'm not used to. I can't imagine spending like, $20 to meet anyone! That's a little crazy, and that's why I always often feel guilty 'cause we don't have all that much time to like, communicate with people very much. Actually one thing that I did start liking on Thank You is that people were starting to learn that that was the way that it was having to be, so that we could get through everyone and meet everyone for an equal amount of time - people started actually bringing their own little letters and saying, "I can't figure out my words right now, so here's a letter of things that I want to like talk to you about and questions," and then leaving their Instagram handle or something on the bottom, so that we'd be able to reach back. And I think that was actually an easier way of connecting with people than actually trying to communicate right then and there, 'cause we're exhausted from a show, and they're exhausted from watching the show! (laughs)
IT'S ALL MENTAL
EoG: And screaming!
KAETLYN: (picks up her adorable dog, Rasquette, and talks to her) What are you doing? Why are you being weird?
EoG: You should bring Rasquette to the meet & greet!
KAETLYN: She's come to shows!
EoG: Oh yeah, I saw that during Stars on Ice and (there was a video of her) running around the ice, and she was so cute! Do you find that having your dogs around contributes to your mental well-being?
KAETLYN: I think so - they don't care what your day was like! (laughs) It was always fun knowing that when I came home... Rasquette was actually an on-the-whim idea - the day before I was going to Worlds in Helsinki (in 2017) all I could think about was the fact that I needed a dog. And that was the only thing I could think about! (laughs) So I started looking online and looking for different dogs, and that same evening, I found someone that had Rasquette, and she was too young to leave her mom yet, but I met her - I left my house at like eight o'clock at night and went to see someone who lived an hour away. And I met this dog, who crawled into my jacket, and I was like, I want her! So I went home, and I was like, "Dad, I bought a dog!" (laughs) But she was a week too young to leave her mom, so it was like perfect, I'm gonna be away for the next week!
They (the dogs) provide always an entertainment, you always have to take care of them no matter what your day was like. And whenever I'm upset, she knows and comes and crawls up on me and tries to be really nice.
Kaetlyn and Rasquette take playtime to the ice
(Courtesy of Get Leashed Magazine)
EoG: Speaking of mental health, I'm kind of curious as to what your mindset was like during different competitions. Like one that came to mind was your first Worlds in 2013, when it was in Canada (in London, Ontario), but you were the only Canadian ladies' singles skater, and it was right before the Sochi Olympics, so you were kind of responsible for qualifying enough spots. What was that kind of pressure like?KAETLYN: I've been very oblivious to everything my entire life, and I was very ignorant about the skating world when I was at my first Worlds - I just knew that I was going to my first Worlds, it was really cool, I didn't even realize that the Olympic year was the next year. And I was like, "Cool, I'm the only female ladies' skater (from Canada), but I thought that was normal to only send one person until I was there and I was like, Why am I the only one in my event? kind of thing. Compared to the others, there were like two or three (skaters from each country) in everything else. So I was very like, oblivious to the way things ran, so I just thought it was really cool, it ended up working out great that I was 4th after the short, and I was always excited to be there, so that was really cool. And then afterwards, people started telling me like, yeah you qualified two spots for the Olympics, like thank you for doing your job, and I was like, well I didn't realize I had one! (laughs) But you're welcome? That's pretty much the history of my life up until like I broke my leg, was like, ignorant.
Prior to breaking her leg, Kaetlyn recalls, "I was so frustrated because every time that I finally felt like I was working harder again and was getting myself ready, something would happen that would set me back again."
(Courtesy of CBC Sports)
EoG: The previous season you had injured your ankle, your hamstring, and then you recovered, and then after Sochi, you broke your leg in September 2014. But you never gave up, and your post-injury career was kind of like an encore, like icing on the cake!
KAETLYN: It really was! The first year - the year that I was injured - really sucked. I didn't really do much, and I didn't wanna skate all that much. I had already done high school at that point, so I just didn't know what else to do except skate and do what I was told. And then the year I came back to competition, it kind of started off fine, I went and won my first competition and was like, "Oh this gonna be a breeze." And then I went to my second competition and skated the absolute worst of my entire career! (laughs) I fell seven times in one event. I fell in a spin that kind of re-injured myself, so it was kinda messy, but I probably should not have done my long after that. But I looked at Ravi and was like, "If I withdraw now, I'm not coming back."
So I pushed through that program, even though by far it was the worst thing of my life. I actually watched that not long ago and I was like, Why did I keep rotating, why did I keep trying?! I probably could have done a program with doubles and gotten more points at that point. But it was something that I needed, and it was like, Well, we're two years out, I can either say I'm done now after the last two years that were horrible, or push for two more years and say I'll go to the next Olympics and be done. Having that end goal gave me a lot of motivation for those two years and knowing that I wanted to make them the most memorable, be more focused for each event, and stop thinking too far ahead.
EoG: So looking to the future, you mentioned you want to go into broadcast journalism, like are you thinking about going to university, like what are your plans at this moment?
KAETLYN: That's a good question! I'm still trying to figure out plans and talking to a few people at Stars on Ice - one thing Patrick (Chan) said to me: "You realize how slow real life works compared to our skating world, if we set our minds to something, like we have two weeks pretty much to figure something out, you can do it kind of right away. So we're so used to everything being so quick that you don't realize real life takes time. In real life I'm 23 years old, I don't have to rush into things all that much. It just goes against our natural instincts! So I'm trying to just play around a little bit, I want to go to school eventually, but the RTR tour in the fall doesn't really allow for that very much. Maybe look into the later part of the year. But I'm also gonna do a little media training, so just like personal one-on-one training to get me ready, to get my own talking better. And then also teaching me how to properly interview people, so getting used to that stuff.
After conquering the figure skating world, the next step for Kaetlyn
is pursuing her dream of being a. broadcast journalist!
So I'm excited for that, but I'm also working on a camp in Newfoundland right now, still working towards, still trying to get logistics. Ravi just messaged me right now, 'cause he's helping me out with it. But it's a way to give back to the skating community in Newfoundland and to develop the skating a little bit more, get more competitive skaters into the province.
EoG: And then I liked how you wrote in one of your latest blog posts about finding a few things that made each day good, that made you happy today. So I thought we could take turns doing that, you go first - what are a few things that made you happy today?
KAETLYN: Today, well I slept in, so that's one of them. I've gotten puppy cuddles, which I always love. And we finally got to do this talk!
EoG: Yeah, I'm so glad we finally got to do this interview, I've been looking forward to it. Also, I went grocery shopping last night and now I have a bunch of ice cream in my fridge, which makes me really happy!
KAETLYN: That's definitely something to be happy about! (laughs)
Kaetlyn beaming in her beautiful EliteXpression dress
(Courtesy of Danielle Earl Photography)
EoG: Okay now for some lightning round questions. What's your favorite healthy food?
KAETLYN: Ooh! I apparently have a love for salads lately, I've been making such good salads, like you don't even know. (laughs)
EoG: What's your favorite salad to make?
KAETLYN: It's like spinach and arugula with strawberries and almonds and sunflower seeds!
EoG: Okay, so what's your favorite junk food?
KAETLYN: Too much! (laughs) Pizza - like the greasy pizza, 'cause I can make healthy pizza, but greasy pizza.
EoG: Where do you like to get your greasy pizza from?
KAETLYN: (turns to Trennt) What are a couple places we go to?
TRENNT: Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Pizza Pizza...
KAETLYN: Not really Pizza Pizza, it's too salty.
TRENNT: That's true.
EoG: What is your favorite costume you've worn?
KAETLYN: Probably Black Swan? Or my Mambo dress from 2013. I love black.
Kaetlyn has a fondness for black dresses,
seen here in her Black Swan and Mambo No. 8 costumes
EoG: What was the funniest thing that has happened to you on tour?
KAETLYN: My first year in Stars on Ice, I belly-flopped twice in the same section. And I was going towards Andrew (Poje), so I was like (puts out arms), "Andrew I'm just falling for you!" (laughs)
EoG: Pick one word to describe the following people... Trennt?
KAETLYN: (looks Trennt dead in the eye) Weirdo. (laughs)
EoG: (Your dog) Rasquette?
EoG: (Your cat) Annie?
EoG: (Trennt's dog) Bilbo?
It's a full house at the Osmond-Michaud's!
Pictured above are Rasquette, Annie, and Bilbo Puggins
EoG: Your mom?
KAETLYN: I gotta be careful with these words! She's the best.
EoG: Your dad?
KAETLYN: My wannabe agent! (laughs) No, he's really helpful.
EoG: And then your sister?
KAETLYN: Inspiration and best friend!
EoG: What do you want to be remembered for?
KAETLYN: For being a fighter.
EoG: And last question, what is a quote that you live by?
KAETLYN: The one that I used to live by was, "Find the joy inside, and the joy will burn out the pain." Now it's, "Whatever happens happens," I guess? I did really like one of the Dolly Parton ones I put (on my website), which was, "Find out who you are, and do it on purpose."
Congratulations to Kaetlyn on an amazing skating career!
(Courtesy of Skate Canada)
KEEP UP WITH KAETLYN
Facebook: Kaetlyn Osmond Canadian Figure Skater
Cameo: Kaetlyn Osmond
Be sure to keep up with Kaetlyn's blog and catch her in touring North America (alongside her very talented friends) in Rock The Rink, coming to a city near you from October 5th - November 23rd. Tickets are available here - don't forget to buy some RTR merch too!
All other photos courtesy of Kaetlyn Osmond