EDMONTON – The movie theatre at West Edmonton Mall was packed Sunday morning, but it wasn’t for an early movie showing. Dozens of Kaetlyn Osmond‘s family members and friends held a viewing party to watch as she helped Team Canada claim the silver medal in Olympic team figure skating.
“Extremely proud, there’s no other way to say it. It’s the proudest moment of our life,” Kaetlyn’s mother, Jackie Osmond, said following the event.
“I wouldn’t miss watching her. I don’t care how late I went to bed yesterday,” added Anna Podlisky, who has been friends with Kaetlyn since they were 10 years old. “I thought it was gorgeous… she looked so happy on the ice and looked like she enjoyed it so much.”
Competing in her first Olympics, 18-year-old Kaetlyn finished fifth in the women’s free skate Sunday, after experiencing a fall mid-way through her program.
“She skated clean yesterday. There was a couple little errors in this one, but it was still an absolutely beautiful skate,” Jackie explained.
“I think her main goal today was just to get it out there because she never had the opportunity to skate this one in front of international judges. So it was a good start,” added the teen’s father, Jeff Osmond.
When Kaetlyn laced up her first pair of skates when she was just shy of two years old, her parents never dreamed they’d one day be watching their little girl on the Olympic stage.
“It was never even a thought in our minds,” Jackie said. “We all loved sports growing up, we all played sports as a family, we watched the Olympics. It was huge. The thought of our child? No, no. We just wanted her to skate, we wanted her to play hockey, we wanted her to just have fun and be active for her life.”
But Kaetlyn’s talent took her much further than her parent’s initial hopes. The Marystown, N.L. native, who now lives in Sherwood Park, clinched her spot on the Olympic team after winning her second consecutive Canadian women’s figure skating title in January.
While Kaetlyn’s road to Sochi wasn’t easy – she battled a couple of injuries this season, one which forced her to withdraw from the long program at Skate Canada in October – prior to leaving for Russia, the teen said she felt stronger than ever and ready to compete.
“She proves over and over how well she can recover. That’s a very, very proud moment,” Jackie said Sunday.
WATCH: MP Judy Foote rose in the House of Commons Monday to congratulate fellow Newfoundland native Kaetlyn Osmond on her Olympic victory
Kaetlyn will now head to Germany to continue to train before returning to Sochi for her individual competition, which begins Feb. 19.
And as she continues her journey in Sochi, she’ll have the support of an entire nation behind her.
“Just to see the group of people that are here, just from her local club and friends we have here in Edmonton and Alberta herself,” Jeff said. “It’s a whole community. Almost the entire province is backing her.”
“We’re just extremely proud. She did a fantastic job. She’s done well for Canada, she’s done well for herself. So we’re just over the moon,” added Jackie.
Kaetlyn’s parents will be heading to Sochi next Friday to watch their daughter compete in person.
With files from Shannon Greer, Global News.