For Canadian figure skating champion Kaetlyn Osmond, coming back to Newfoundland is always a happy time.
"It's incredible to get back home," said Osmond, who now lives and trains in Edmonton. "I haven't been back in a while, and even though I'm only here for a short time, it's great to get back and to see everyone."
Osmond met fans and signed autographs at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay on Sunday, an Inspire NL event that highlighted some of Newfoundland and Labrador's best skaters while raising money for the Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation.
For Osmond, originally from Marystown, N.L., it was a chance to get inspired as she prepares to make a run at the next Winter Olympics.
Preparing for Pyeongchang 2018
Osmond finished fourth overall in the Four Continents competition in Gangneung, South Korea, in February — not the result she hoped for, but one that she hopes will help prepare her for Olympic competition in Pyeongchang in 2018.
"My actual skating was not the greatest," she said.
"It was not my best competition this year. But the event itself, the venues, the atmosphere, it was absolutely incredible, and to be able to have the opportunity to train and compete there, a year before the Olympics, hopefully that's a big advantage for me."
Osmond said no matter how often it happens, she hasn't gotten used to the warm welcome she gets from fans.
"It's so exciting to see so many people excited, and it makes me more excited to get out on the ice and compete and perform at my best. It's great motivation, but it's also very humbling."
Off-season means ice shows
It's off-season for Osmond, which means she'll take a break from competitive training for ice shows, including one that begins next month.
"I'll be on the Stars on Ice tour all of May, which travels across Canada," she said. "It starts in Halifax and ends in Vancouver or Victoria, one of the two."
After that, it's back to Olympic training, with her first competition in the fall.
"I'll start probably competing again at the end of September," she said, adding that she can't wait.
"Being in Korea in February, when I was there, was so much motivation, so much hype, that I have so much excitement to start training for next year."