Canadian skater recovers from broken leg to win world medal

HELSINKI (AP) When she broke her right leg in 2014, Canadian figure skating star Kaetlyn Osmond naturally feared her promising career was over.

Fast forward 2 1/2 years, however, and she's a world championship silver medalist and a contender for the Olympic title in less than a year.

''When I broke my leg I never thought I would be figure skating again, let alone be standing on a world podium,'' she said on Friday after coming second at the world championships. ''I had to relearn how to skate, relearn to even just stand on one foot again.''

The freak injury in practice - a double break of her right fibula - halted Osmond's progress at age 18, just as she was breaking through as a world-class skater, having competed at the Olympics months before, when she finished 13th in the individual event and helped Canada to team silver.

Osmond missed the entire 2014-15 season and struggled through her comeback campaign, where she finished only third at the Canadian nationals and failed to qualify for the 2016 worlds.

''I doubted myself so much last season,'' she said. ''I doubted that I would be able to compete at my best ever again and, finally this year, that doubt I think has slowly been washed away. The last remaining of it probably went today.''

Osmond credits work with her sports psychologist for helping her to overcome the mental blocks which often saw her score well in the short program but lose focus in the free skate. Ahead of the worlds, she said her feet sometimes didn't ''feel like they were fully under me.''

The next big challenge for Osmond is the Pyeongchang Olympics in 11 months, when she'll be one of the leaders of a Canadian team which can fight for medals in all four figure skating disciplines. That means worldwide attention, but Osmond's fine with that.

''Ever since I was a little kid I loved being the center of attention. It's probably the reason why I loved skating,'' she said. ''You're literally in a fishbowl. You're in the middle of the ice by yourself and the world is watching.''

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