Nfld. & Labrador

Older sister cheers on Kaetlyn Osmond in skate for another Olympic medal

Natasha Osmond, a former national-level skater, inspired her younger sister to take up the sport and work towards the Olympics.

Natasha Osmond will be cheering with supporters in Edmonton as the singles event begins

Natasha Osmond and her son hold the red poster, on the right, as they and other supporters cheer on Auntie Kaetlyn. (Natasha Osmond/Facebook)

It will be Wednesday in Pyeongchang but Tuesday night in Edmonton as supporters gather to cheer on figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond — led by her nervous older sister Natasha.

Natasha Osmond was pretty calm ahead of Kaetlyn's performance in the team event, where she and the other Canadian skaters earned a gold medal. 

But with just hours to go before her little sister hits the Olympic ice for the singles event, she's experiencing a range of emotions.

"My nerves are so heightened," Natasha Osmond told the St. John's Morning Show. "I know what she can do, I've watched her train for the last four or five months I've been here, and I just want her to do what she can do."

From 'Bambi' to the Olympics

When they were children growing up in Marystown, N.L., as well as in Quebec and Alberta, it was often Kaetlyn watching what Natasha could do.

Kaetlyn Osmond is hoping to reach the podium in women's figure skating at the Winter Games in Pyeonchang. Her short program is Wednesday, late Tuesday night in Canada. (Kevin Light / CBC Sports)

Natasha was a figure skater at the national level herself, and said Kaetlyn looked up to her as a role model, initially starting to skate as a toddler because her older sister was doing it.

The younger Osmond's Olympic potential was not necessarily evident right away, Natasha said. 

"When she was just learning how to jump, she was so tall and so skinny and lanky and just unproportionate for a figure skater," she said. Kaetlyn's initial lack of co-ordination earned her the nickname "Bambi."

But Kaetlyn continued to train alongside her sister and continued on in the sport after Natasha decided to retire.

Last year Kaetlyn wrote an article for the Woman's Almanac about the Newfoundland woman who most inspired her: her sister. 

A homemade sign for Kaetlyn Osmond ahead of her performance as part of the team figure skating competition at the Pyeongchang Olympics. (Natasha Osmond/Facebook)

"Long before I can remember, I watched my sister and she pushed herself on the ice, learning to be a figure skater," she wrote. "I wanted to be just like her."

"I really didn't realize until she did that how much she actually looked up to me, and still does," Natasha said. "So I'm pretty proud of her."

Ready to watch Kaetlyn's singles skate

While she loved her time on the ice, Natasha said she was ready to hang up the skates.

Kaetlyn has continued on, winning a silver medal at the 2017 world championships, a bronze at the 2017 Grand Prix Final, and now Olympic gold to go with her silver in the team event from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.

Her most recent wins come after a series of injuries, including a broken leg, that put her figure skating career in doubt.

But after taking a season off to recover, she's back. Natasha will be watching her sister in Pyeongchang on Tuesday night with a large group of friends in Edmonton as she hits the ice for her short program. 

Their parents are in Pyeongchang to cheer Kaetlyn on in person, and provide regular updates. 

Kaetlyn Osmond's parents Jeff and Jackie Osmond are thrilled with her gold team medal. (CBC Sports)

Natasha believes Kaetlyn is capable of earning a medal, but acknowledges that the only performance her sister can control is her own.

She understands why fans at home in Newfoundland and Labrador might be staying up late to watch, whatever the outcome.

"It's not every day you get someone from Marystown who is an Olympic gold medallist," Natasha said.