Nfld. & Labrador

Kaetlyn Osmond is having a very different year, with no plans — yet — to compete again

No coaches, no daily training grind, just travel and performance, and even a few months with friends and family.

No coaches, no daily training grind, just travel with her show family

Kaetlyn Osmond said she's enjoying her time off from competition. (Gary Locke/CBC)

There is a new ease about reigning world figure skating champion and Olympic medalist Kaetlyn Osmond as she sits in the stands at Mile One Centre in St. John's, where she will perform in two shows on Saturday.

Osmond took the year off from competition and has instead been touring — first, with Stars On Ice in the spring, and now with the Thank You Canada Tour.

"It's been really enjoyable," she said in an interview with CBC's Here & Now.

Joining her on the ice and on the road for the Thank You Canada Tour are ice dancers Scott Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, men's skating star Patrick Chan and pairs duo Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, among others.

"We've created a family," she said. 

Kaetlyn Osmond is pictured with her gold medal at the world championships in March. (Luca Bruno/The Canadian Press)

Osmond announced in August she would be taking the entire 2018-2019 competition year off. That announcement came two months after she said she'd sit out the ISU Grand Prix of figure skating circuit, which began in October. 

The Marystown-born skater also took the entire summer off from performing at all, spending time with her family and friends, she said. 

Change is good

She said she's still figuring out how her life has really changed since she switched her focus from competing to performing, but there are definitely some significant differences.

For one, it's been a lot more time on the road, she said, and she winds up missing her friends, family and pets.

But the road has been good in many ways, too.

"I don't have an atmosphere that is the same every day," she said, noting that she's on different ice in a new city from week to week.

Kaetlyn Osmond performed in front of a packed house in her hometown of Marystown in April. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

She said she's missed the adrenaline rush and the highs of competing, but performing in the shows "still has that feeling."

It also affords a different kind of intimacy and interactivity with audiences, she said.

"And that's something I really strive for."

She said she's particularly enjoyed travelling with same small core group of skaters and getting to know their own approaches to performing, competing and skating.

"The way they warm up for a show, the way they train for a show, it's a lot of things for me to look up to and to learn from."

No decision yet on competing

Osmond, who won a gold team medal at the 2018 Olympics and a bronze in the women's competition, said it's still unclear whether she'll return to competition for 2019-2020 season.

"It's still really up in the air about what I'm doing next year."

She says she's going to keep skating in shows, with plans to join the Stars On Ice tour in the spring, and see how she feels once summer training begins.

But right now, she said, she's happy to be in Newfoundland, even if it's just for a few shows.

"It feels great to be back," she said.

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Debbie Cooper

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