The Song From Kaetlyn Osmond’s Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Routine Is So Moving
To cap off her time at the 2018 Winter Olympics, bronze medalist Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada gave a moving performance at the Olympic Figure Skating Exhibition Gala in PyeongChang, South Korea on Saturday. While the Canadian figure skater exuded emotion on the ice, the song from Osmond's figure skating exhibition gala routine also lent her performance an added edge. Osmond skated to a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" sung by Tori Kelly, an American singer and songwriter who launched her career through YouTube.
While a majority of exhibition gala viewers applauded Osmond's song choice on social media, not everyone appeared to be a fan. For some Twitter users "Hallelujah" felt like an overplayed song for figure skating. Others, however, celebrated the song, which was written and recorded by Cohen in 1984, as a poignant and moving selection for Osmond's performance.
While Cohen's "Hallelujah" was not an initial success, the song slowly gained more prominence over time. The song has since been covered by hundreds of singers in a variety of languages and been featured in a number of television shows and movies, including, perhaps most famously, Shrek in 2001.
Kelly performed her stirring acoustic cover of "Hallelujah" during an "in memoriam" segment of the 68th annual Emmy Awards in September of last year to honor the late Cohen along with Merle Haggard, Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and Prince. Kelly also performed "Hallelujah" with singer Jennifer Hudson in a powerful performance at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
As a singer, Kelly blazed her own trail to stardom by capitalizing on the video sharing platform YouTube to get her voice to fans. The singer began sharing videos of herself singing on YouTube when she was just 14 years old. At 16, she auditioned for — but failed to make it on — American Idol. Still, her YouTube account paid off as it was through her videos that Kelly was eventually discovered and signed to Capitol Records. Her debut album, Unbreakable Smile, was released in 2015.
As for Osmond, the Canadian singer finished behind Olympic Athletes from Russia Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva to win the bronze medal in women's figure skating earlier in the Games. For the free program, Osmond performed a Black Swan routine that earned her 152.15 points from the judges. The score was a new personal best for the Canadian skater, according to the CBC. Osmond also helped Team Canada earn gold in the figure skating team event with her short program.
By her own admission the 2018 Winter Olympics have been a crazy ride for the 22-year-old skater. "Where do I start? This Olympic games have been absolutely crazy!" she tweeted Friday. "Winning gold with Team Canada, watching everyone else skate their hearts out while I not-so-patiently waited for my turn, and then leaving everything I had on the ice for my bronze medal!!!!!"
But the 2018 Winter Olympics didn't always feel like a possibility for Osmond, who came close to retiring in 2014 after breaking an ankle. "For that entire year I was convinced that I was never competing again," Osmond said of her injury in her official PyeongChang profile.
While her recovery took time, Osmond has said she felt she was in the best shape of her live at the 2018 Winter Games. "I felt strong and in the best shape that I've ever been in my entire life," she told the CBC. "I can't believe that I ever thought about retiring." That strength was certainly on display Saturday during Osmond's exhibition gala performance, which highlighted the skater's talent for beautiful and moving artistry.