Excited to go against the sport’s finest at Skate America
by Liz Leamy
Gracie Gold at 2015 U.S. National Championships
(20 October 2015) Gracie Gold, the two-time U.S. silver medalist and 2014 U.S. titlist, seems as geared up as ever to make her mark this week as she kicks off the competitive season at the celebrated International Skating Union Grand Prix event, Skate America, to be held October 22th-25th in Milwaukee.
The 20 year-old Springfield, Illinois native, who has been training in Los Angeles with Frank Carroll for more than two years now, appears as determined as ever to put on two top-rate performances at this event, which represents the first of this annual six-competition International Skating Union Grand Prix series that concludes with a final showdown in December.
“I trained hard this summer and have focused more on my mental work going into the [competitive season],” said Gold in a pre-competition conference call last week. “I just train to skate my best.”
Confident in her whole tone and demeanor, Gold seems to be ready to hit a whole new stride as an elite world contender this year.
Said to have been hitting all of her triples with strength, consistency and ease since Worlds, Gold certainly has what it takes to become one of the sport’s premiere stars, that’s for certain.
As one of the leading contenders on the international circuit, Gold, over the past several years, seems to have settled into the notion of being in this coveted, but also extremely demanding position.
Asked about the triple Axel, Gold answered with candor and frankness and explained how she has been working extensively on this jump with a harness this year and said she is hoping to include it in her programs by next year.
At the same time, Gold said she is excited about both of her programs this year, which consist of ‘El Chocio’ by the Cello Project for her short and ‘Firebird’ by Igor Stravinsky for her long.
“I really like my programs this year, [especially the free skate],” said Gold, adding that she relates much more to these musical choices then the ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ which she had used for her long program last season.
“Last year, the long program just wasn’t very me,” said Gold.
Still, in spite of this, Gold, who finished fifth at the 2014 Olympics, was able to come up with some top-rate results, whereby she scored fourth at the 2015 Worlds, silver at the 2015 U.S. Championships, bronze at Skate America and gold at the NHK Trophy.
Although Gold was one of six skaters to qualify for the 2015 Grand Prix Finals last year, she decided to refrain from participating in that event due to a stress fracture in her left foot, an ailment from which she has since fully recovered.
“I just want to skate good performances [this season],” said Gold.
Although Gold is looking forward to proving herself on the ice this week, the one thing she seems to be most excited about is the fact that her fraternal twin sister, Carly, had recently scored first at the Southwest Pacific regionals in the senior division, earning an invitation to Pacific Coast sectionals next month, a qualifying event that could potentially put her in contention against her famous sister at Nationals this January if she winds up a top-four finisher.
“I’m so happy for Carly, it’s so awesome,” said Gold, who lives with Carly and her mom, Denise, an emergency room nurse, in Hermosa Beach. “To see her bloom has been extraordinary, she’s done nothing but love and support me.”
Somehow, Carly’s recent success seems to be a good omen on all fronts for both the twins, as they seem to provide great strength and inspiration to one other in all aspects of their lives.
“Since moving here, I’ve almost seen a bigger change in Carly,” said Gold, This statement, no doubt, also speaks a great deal about Gold’s own personal growth, both as a person and as an athlete.