It is absolutely remarkable to be represented by at the Olympics, but to have that athlete standing on the podium is truly amazing.
Kaetlyn Osmond duplicated the feat of the Canadian men’s curling team from Newfoundland and Labrador in the 2006 Turin, Italy Winter Olympics. The figure skater was impressive in her Olympic debut helping her team — yes, that’s right, figure skating is a team event now, beyond the typical pairs we have always seen — to a silver medal.
Now, I have to admit, for me, Osmond doesn’t quite duplicate the feeling that Brad Gushue and the boys did eight years ago (can you believe it’s been that long?). She is a native Newfoundlander, Marystown to be precise, but grew up and trained in Alberta since the age of 10. However, like many transplanted Newfoundlanders, she seems proud to call this tiny island of about 500,000 people her home. So, yeah, that’s good enough for me.
With all the challenges we face as the most easterly part of this country, isolated by more than the water between us, it is remarkable to be represented at the Olympics by one of our own. To have that athlete reach the pinnacle of their sport, to have that massive medal draped around their neck, is almost unbelievable.
Like Gushue and his team did en route to their gold medals, Osmond had massive crowds gathered throughout the island to watch her skate. This is the same young woman that wowed crowds with her beauty and grace in Corner Brook at the Pepsi Centre less than a year ago. I’m sure young skaters like Olivia Park of the Silver Blades — who will be representing her region at the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games next month — cheered her on that much harder after rubbing shoulders with the hometown hero on their own rink.
Osmond will be taking to the Olympic ice again Wednesday and Thursday in Sochi, this time trying to add to her silverware completely on her own.
However, I’m sure there’s much pride standing tall on those blades, knowing she is far from alone. She has a tiny province across the world from her, sharing her every breath, waiting and watching as they hope to get another Olympic moment to call their own.