Kaetlyn Osmond ups the ante for worlds

Kaetlyn Osmond will be a different skater, come the world championships in Saitama, Japan.

After a troubled year of injury upon injury, she’s back to what she intended to be when she started this intense season. She’s doing what she always set out to do. And that means that she’s throwing down the gauntlet in the short program, upping her technical content.

At the Olympics, the game plan was to do a triple toe loop – triple toe loop combination (base value 8.20) and a triple flip (5.30 points).

But now she plans a triple flip – triple toe loop (worth 9.40 points) and a triple Lutz (6.00). That will give her a couple more points to work with, to try to improve on her 13th place finish in Sochi. She’s aiming for top eight, to equal or better her eighth place finish last year at the world championships.

She has made no changes to her Cleopatra long program.

“Ever since nationals, I started training my harder triple-triples again because the injuries weren’t there,” she said Wednesday. “We were hoping to get it in for the Olympics, but there just wasn’t training time between nationals and Olympics to be able to get the repetition I needed.”

She had trained these harder jumps earlier in the season, before everything went awry. But after she returned from the Olympics, she’s been training them again and has done a few clean programs in a row. “I’m really confident in this program, which is why I’m excited to compete at worlds and do a program that no one has really seen me do before,” she said.

At the Olympics, she felt she may have become overconfident, perhaps because her training had been going so well. “It’s just something that I had to learn, that just because I do it in practice, I still can’t be too overconfident in competition,” she said.

She was focused enough. She just had to let it happen, the way it does in practice, instead of trying to think too much.

And just like Kevin Reynolds, Osmond’s Olympic performance brought her unprecedented attention at home. After all, they both did win an Olympic silver medal in the team event. During the Olympics, Osmond enjoyed an explosive growth in twitter followers – from 6,000 to 23,000. And the tweets came from all over, from Japan, across Canada, everywhere.

She also saw a side of her home province, Newfoundland, that she’d never seen before. While in Sochi, Osmond was inundated with messages and photos of events planned in Newfoundland from folk who watched and cheered her performances. “Since I’ve got home, it’s been the same thing,” she said. “A lot of fans are congratulating me and wishing me luck going into Japan. It’s really great to see.”

Her motivation is to finish the season with polish, to show the programs the way she knows she can, those performances that didn’t quite emerge at the Olympics the way she wanted them to. She wants to finish feeling satisfied and to “skate amazing.”

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