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Canadian figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond taking a year off from competition

Kaetlyn Osmond has spent time this summer riding roller-coasters and watching tennis. What her fall and winter definitely won't include is competitive figure skating.
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Kaetlyn Osmond has spent time this summer riding roller-coasters and watching tennis.

What her fall and winter definitely won't include is competitive figure skating.

Two months after Osmond announced she would sit out the ISU Grand Prix circuit to begin the 2018-19 campaign, the reigning world champion said Tuesday she will not compete at all this season.

"It's just a personal decision right now," the three-time Canadian champion said in a phone interview. "The last four years have been incredible — the last two years especially — with skating ... ending as world champion.

"It's something I couldn't even dream of being when I was younger."

Osmond captured a bronze medal in women's singles at February's Pyeongchang Olympics and also helped her country earn gold in the team event.

All the 22-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., did for an encore the following month in Milan, Italy, was become the first Canadian woman in 45 years to win a world title.

"Everything just fell into place," she said. "Right now there's so many different opportunities I can take part in."

One of those opportunities came earlier this month for Osmond, who is looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, when she went to Canada's Wonderland north of Toronto for the first time.

"It was so much fun," she said. "I love roller-coasters. It's been about five years since I've been on one. I also got to go to the Rogers Cup (tennis tournament). I haven't picked up a racket since I was nine.

"I'm excited to get a lot of different experiences in that I haven't been able to."

It's not uncommon for skaters to take time off after an Olympics.

Patrick Chan took a year off following the Sochi Games in 2014, while Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir also stepped away from competition in the wake of the Olympics in Russia.

"I do still plan on competing," said Osmond, who has already taken some online university courses and plans to further explore her post-secondary options. "I don't know if that will change by the end of the year.

"I just want to take a year for myself and re-evaluate what I want to do next."

Fast approaching on the docket is the upcoming "Thank You Canada Tour" with Olympic teammates Virtue, Moir, Chan, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, as well as three-time world champion Elvis Stojko.

"I was talking to some of them over the weekend, just saying how excited we all were to get started," Osmond said. "It'll be amazing being able to travel with them.

"I've driven across Canada once in my life, but I'm excited to do it again."

The 28-show tour begins Oct. 5 in Abbotsford, B.C., and is scheduled to hit a number of smaller cities across the country before winding up Nov. 24 in St. John's, N.L.

"It is very special," Osmond said of having the final performance in her home province. "It's very rare that a show like this actually makes it to Newfoundland."

She added that while there won't be nearly the same pressure as competing at an Olympics or world championships, the skaters still have to be in top form.

"It's just going to be a very different experience," Osmond said. "But it's still a brand-new tour and there's a lot of shows to be done in two months.

"It'll still be nerve-wracking ... I'm getting nervous just thinking about it."

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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press




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