Kaetlyn Osmond’s twitter account has been buzzing non-stop today, ever since the news broke that she decided to forget about competing this season.
It was not an easy decision. It’s been a roller-coaster ride for the 19-year-old native of Marystown, Nfld., ever since she broke the fibula bone in her right leg last fall, an accident that put a stop to her fall season. Now the entire season will be wiped out. No Four Continents, no world championships.
She says that public reaction to the news has buoyed her spirits after her difficult decision not to try to win her third consecutive Canadian title. The national championships is in two weeks in Kingston, Ont.
“It’s actually been amazing,” Osmond said today. “It’s helping me cope with this decision. Everyone is wishing me the best, and that I’ll be ready for next year.”
“I hope I will be too.”
The fibula is the smaller of the two lower leg bones, situated to the outside of the leg. This is also the same bone that Kaitlyn Weaver fractured on Dec. 14, 2012, except that she fractured the bone in her left leg, near the ankle. Weaver and partner Andrew Poje were forced to miss the Canadian championships that year but made a remarkable comeback to compete at the 2013 world championships about three months later – and finish fifth. Weaver competed despite pain.
In a tweet, Osmond says she was off the ice for 52 days, 15 hours and 59 minutes since she last put on her skates, after being cleared to skate again on Nov. 2.
“It’s been very slow going,” she said. “The injury is a lot harder to come back from, especially with the plate in my leg. I’ve had to remodel my skates a bit to accommodate that. There’s been a lot done to try and get me back, but it was just not possible.”
Osmond said she was worried about going back out on the ice again for the first time after her latest injury, because she didn’t know what it would feel like. “It was really hard getting back onto the ice and being able to push on that foot without feeling like it was going to buckle underneath me,” she said.
The worries were both psychological and physical. She didn’t have full strength in her right foot when she returned.
She got through that initial uneasy time, and then for two weeks, her recovery seemed “amazing,” and she began to feel that she was going to actually make it to the Canadian championships, her favourite event of the year. She started to run her programs full-out with all double jumps and spins. And she even started working on her triple jumps again.
She got some of those triples back. Strangely enough, she got the tough ones back first, particularly the triple flip. (There is a video somewhere out there of her doing it.) It makes sense if you know that the Axel, Salchow and toe loops bothered her the most, because those jumps involve more of her right leg. Landing jumps weren’t a problem. She lands on her left leg.
A couple of weeks ago, she was doing triple flips, and was working on triple loops and Lutzes. She did manage a double Axel. She put the triple flip in her run-throughs –for one day, before she had to back off and leave the triples on the backburner.
Osmond’s first public performance came in a skating festival at the West Edmonton Mall in mid-December, in which she did only doubles. “But it felt good to perform again,” she said. Shortly afterwards, things began to fall apart. Encouraged, she had increased her training, but her foot couldn’t handle it as much as she’d hoped. The boot began to rub against her metal plate.
It’s going to be rough to miss the national championships and all that comes with it after, but Osmond is in it for the long haul. There’s always next year.