When Canada’s most decorated female figure skater, Kaetlyn Osmond, retired at 23 years old, she was startled to learn that stepping away from the on-ice judges did nothing to alleviate her sense of being judged.
Body image issues — which had stayed somewhat in check during years of intense training and competition — flared up in her new, “more relaxed” post-career schedule. And a lifetime of bouncing between the extremes of performance, crowd adulation and a natural tendency to introversion left her emotionally knotted.
But Osmond never lost her athlete’s discipline, and now she’s turned it toward work on her emotional and psychological discomfort with determination. As she tells Anastasia Bucsis, host of CBC Sports’ Player’s Own voice podcast, she lost her identity altogether when she stepped off the ice for the last time, but she’s been methodically building it back up ever since.
It’s an honest and vulnerable skating legend who comes to the microphone this week. And those life lessons are serving her well at a time when many are feeling uncertain and fearful.
Like the CBC Sports’ Player’s Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. To listen to all three seasons, subscribe for free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.