Pyeongchang 2018

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Kaetlyn Osmond, the Homecoming Queen

6Marystown, Newfoundland turned out in force to welcome home its figure skating hero on Saturday.

Thousands lined the roads in and around the town for the parade headed by Olympic gold medallist and world champion Kaetlyn Osmond.

A pick-up truck filled with boys from Marystown Central High School was among the vehicles, its occupants’ hands a blur of enthusiastic waving.

The parade made its way to the ice rink where Osmond dreamed big as a little girl.

Renamed the Kaetlyn Osmond Arena after her team silver at Sochi 2014, it was packed to the rafters.

And her adoring public watched, spellbound.

“Being home is always exciting, and to have a welcome like this is just unbelievable” – Osmond to CBC in Marystown

2018 is a year Kaetlyn Osmond will never forget.

She won gold in the team event at PyeongChang before taking bronze in the single event.

Then in Milan in March, she beat a strong field including PyeongChang gold medallist Alina Zagitova to become world champion.

On the map

Finally, the pride of Marystown had the chance to go home and celebrate.

With a population of around 5,500, it is the archetypal small town.

And Osmond was delighted to be back.

Competing at a world stage, competing all over the world, getting to see all the different cities, all the different countries, there’s nothing quite like being in Newfoundland. There’s nowhere that I’ve noticed that has as strong a sense of community and a sense of family. – Osmond to CBC

Trailblazer

At 22, Osmond’s story is already an inspiration for the next generation.

After her Sochi exploits, she was nearly forced to retire after breaking her leg in September 2014.

But she battled back to claim her third national title in 2017 before taking silver at the World Championships.

And then came her annus mirabilis in 2018.

To mark her latest successes, a stretch of highway on the Burin Peninsula has been named after her.

When she next goes home, she will be able to proudly drive down Osmond Way.

Local journalist Ariana Kelland was on hand to speak to the children who queued to get autographs and photos with the Olympic champion.

And Osmond’s success has made them feel like anything is possible.

You don’t hear very often about people from small towns in rural Newfoundland that made it so big and got to do so many great things in their lives, so it’s nice to be able to have our own sort of hometown hero.  – a member of the Marystown Central High School’s student council from the back of a pick-up truck in the parade. (Via Ariana Kelland for CBC)

On the fly

This is just a flying visit for the sought-after star following two weeks in Japan with hit show Stars on Ice.

After spending the weekend in Newfoundland, Osmond goes on tour again.

She will be hooking up with the Canadian Stars on Ice tour, starting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Too many hamburgers

In the off-season, Osmond is staying in shape between the tours, performances and personal training.

She admits she needs to try harder to eat the right foods, having celebrated her world title with “one too many burgers!”

This past season is the first where she made the podium in every event she competed in.

And she is far from complacent about her future in figure skating.

I want to keep competing and seeing what else I can accomplish, see if I can win more competitions and also just challenge myself to see what else I can bring to the table. – CBC

Four years from now

The next Winter Olympics may be four years away, but it seems the Queen of Marystown is already excited for Beijing 2022.

Four years is a really long time to think about, but the Olympic Games are so much fun. – CBC

 

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