Marystown cheers on Kaetlyn Osmond as she pushes for Olympic podium

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Marystown cheers on Kaetlyn Osmond as she pushes for Olympic podium

Long after many in Newfoundland and Labrador had gone to bed, those who gathered on the ice at the Kaetlyn Osmond Arena in Marystown to watch the 22-year-old's first solo skate at the 2018 Olympics didn't leave disappointed.

With the short program finished, Osmond was in 3rd place, having put forth a score of 78.87  — her best of the season.

"I'm proud. I am completely overwhelmed," her brother Gary Osmond said. 

"It's just amazing to watch her skate. She does what she does with such grace. I love her."

About 50 people braved the cold of the arena – and the 1:30 a.m. local start time – for a special Olympics watch party that featured a fire for roasting marshmallows, hot drinks and a fantastic routine from Osmond.

Inspiring skate

Among the fans was high school student Kayley Cheeseman, who despite having a school test on Wednesday, sat front and centre watching Osmond with a red Canadian maple leaf painted on her cheek.

"I think it's just really important to support Kaetlyn. She's doing really good and we are really proud of her."

Cheeseman's mother Charlotte also took in the figure skating short program to support Newfoundland and Labrador's lone Olympian in 2018. 

"She did an amazing job," Charlotte said.

"She had a perfect skate and and she's in a great position going to into her long program and we are excited for Thursday night."

Osmond effect

The Ice Crystal Skating Club in Marystown boasts a membership of about 120 skaters, a full time coach and more than 30 hours a week of ice time. 

For 15-year-old Olivia Ryan, training in an arena named for Kaetyln Osmond provides incentive to work a little harder. 

"We can really take after her and believe that if she can do it, so can we."

Ryan's younger sister Isabella is also a skater with the club. She stayed up late to watch Osmond's performance and looks up to the two-time Olympic medallist.

"She has such a great attitude when she skates," she said. "She performs out there, she enjoys herself and it gives me so much inspiration to be like her."

Despite her personal top score in the short program, Osmond still faces an uphill battle against the two Olympic Athletes from Russia.

Alina Zagitova, who turns 16 in May, set a new world record in the women's short program, scoring 82.92 points. Fellow OAR Evgenia Medvedeva sits in second with a score of 81.61.

The long program is set to get underway in PyeongChang late Thursday, or early Friday morning in Newfoundland and Labrador. Even with the late the start, more people are expected to turn up at the Kaetlyn Osmond Arena in Marystown to cheer on their local Olympian.