How Gracie Gold landed in Philadelphia, thoughts competitive return

Gracie Gold entered treatment for her mental health and an eating disorder in Gracie Gold is ready for her comeback. In a new interview with the New York Timesthe year-old figure skater opened up about the great strides she has made following the mental health struggles that led her to withdraw from competition two years ago.

Gold — a Olympic bronze medalist — announced she was taking a break from figure skating in to receive treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.

Over the last year, the figure skater has worked on regaining her strength to complete spins and landings on the ice. During her training, the skater also revealed that she lost 40 Lbs. After withdrawing from the U. National Championships and another competition in Russia, Gold is now planning to enter the U. National Championships in North Carolina in January. To keep her expectations in check, the skater said she is more focused on the progress she is making, rather than the final results.

That can be a lot. Now, in a much better place after seeking treatment, the athlete has a different outlook on life — placing the importance of her health over skating.

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Gold explained that while she looks forward to making a full comeback on the ice, her health comes first. Far past the national championships next month, Gold is hoping to once again take to the ice as an Olympian at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

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Years ago, I would have never been able to do that. FB Tweet ellipsis More. Image zoom. Get push notifications with news, features and more. You'll get the latest updates on this topic in your browser notifications.

Gracie Gold's meltdown caps lackluster season

Gracie Gold. Close Share options. All rights reserved. Close View image.It was her first nationals performance in three years after time away from the sport to treat depression, anxiety and an eating disorder.

Gold has received other standing ovations in the past, at the conclusions of her two national title-winning free skates in and It had that kind of energy where even as I was getting into the knee slide, it felt like it got bigger.

Golden Spin of Zagreb 2016 Gracie Gold - Best Mistake - Bang Bang

Eagle-eyed fans might have noticed a moth tattoo peaking out of her costume. She explained that she got it during her retirement, and it had a special meaning. One had had a skull, and she was gonna change it into a moth. I asked her, why a moth? So, in retirement, I of course found my way into a tattoo parlor. And yes, now I have a piece. OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us! Figure Skating events throughout the season.

NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before. The last full week of April was supposed to provide clarity for the Olympic diving competition.

The last Olympic quota spots have yet to be doled out. The U. Olympic Trials, originally set for June in Indianapolis, are postponed indefinitely. Some of them are worn out. Now they all get an extra 12 months.

For U. More time for synchronized teams to get in sync. It was the best finish for the U. Wild cards: Briadam Herreraa 1m springboard world team member known for his difficulty, and Johnson, should he enter. Olympic rookie in Since taking third at the Olympic Trials, Dinsmore has four wins and a runner-up in national-level meets. His sixth-place finish at the Worlds was the best individual result for a U.

Johnson, a Rio Olympian on the platform, returned from injury to place third and fourth at national championships last year. He has the versatility to enter all four events at trials, but he may prioritize the springboard given the medal potential in the synchro event with Boudia. Other hopefuls: Brandon Loschiavowho outscored Dinsmore in the finals at Nationals, and Jordan Windlewho Potter said has been on fire since overcoming an injury. She won it to earn a spot on the team for the World Cup, where she was to crucially compete to earn the U.

S qualified two Olympic spots Potter said the event is deeper domestically than it has been in a long time. Every Boston Marathon from will air in a row starting at 6 a.The New York Times Sports department is revisiting the subjects of some compelling articles from the last year or so. Gracie Gold is still on the ice, steadily building a comeback in figure skating one small victory at a time.

At 24, she has replaced the sweeping ambitions that made her an Olympian in and, for a while, one of the favorites to win gold in Now she is taking what she considers a healthier approach. Gold looks back on this last year as a gritty figure eight.

Her forward progression includes losing the bulk of the extra 40 pounds that she had added to her 5-foot-5 frame and graduating from the jumping harness system that she needed at one point to help her safely complete the revolutions and landings that were once her strengths. She plans to be at the United States national championships in GreensboroN. As she began her comeback in lateGold spoke with The New York Times about the spiral that derailed her career and upended her life.

At the time, she was settling into a training site outside Philadelphia, the latest move in her peripatetic existence as an elite skater.

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She traveled to Russia for her first competition in more than a year and ended up withdrawing after the first of her two programs. Not long after that, her decision to pull out of the nationals set off alarms that her career was over. To keep going, Gold knew she would have to start virtually from scratch this year, re-establishing her eligibility for elite competition by going through lower-rung qualifying events for the first time since Gold was like an acclaimed actor auditioning for minor roles she thought she had outgrown.

She advanced to the final qualifying round, the Eastern sectionals in Hyannis, Mass. Overcoming a case of nerves, she finished third. She held herself to exacting standards, and the more she struggled to meet them, the worse she felt about herself.

That can be a lot. Gold still has bad days, but they are rarer. Since the days when her life centered on winning an Olympic gold medal, Gold has come to realize that she has more to offer the world.

She enjoys having a positive impact on younger skaters during the lessons she conducts between her training sessions at the IceWorks Skating Complex, a facility in the Philadelphia area where she began her comeback. This spring, Gold spoke on the issue as part of a panel at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Yet her current goal remains to qualify for the Winter Olympics — just not at any cost, as in the past. No matter how she performs, Gold said she would be proud that she stuck with the sport.

Years ago, I would have never been able to do that. Home Page World U.Gracie Gold, 23, practicing at the IceWorks Skating Complex in Pennsylvania, where she resumed training last year after treatment for an eating disorder.

By Karen Crouse. And Gracie Gold, a figure skater once on the cusp of Olympic stardom, was in no shape to help herself. She slept as much as 24 hours at a time, then stayed awake for three nights straight. Her dream of an Olympic gold medal? That had evaporated long ago, during her slow boil of a meltdown that she was struggling to keep a lid on.

InGold was a charismatic teenage prodigy, hailed as an athletic Grace Kelly because of her tight blond bun, bright red lipstick and regal bearing, her personality so sparkling it sometimes blinded people to the fact that she had not won an individual Olympic medal.

golden moment gracie gold

Three years later, in the dark of a Michigan winter, Gold felt her world closing in. She was hiding from her family, gorging on forbidden food and, with the next Olympics less than a year out, unwilling — or unable — some days to summon even the energy required to drive to the practice rink less than 15 minutes away. On occasion, Gold said, revealing the depths of her mental illness for the first time, she imagined taking her life and nobody finding her body until the landlord came to collect overdue rent.

This week the top figure skaters in the country have gathered in Detroit for the national championships, and Gold had planned to be among them, plotting the first chapter of her sequel.

But she is not back. Not yet. As Gold has discovered, mental health is a slippery slope, and she is still trying to find her footing. That attitude is typical of elite athletes, said Caroline Silby, a sports psychologist who was a national-caliber skater. She has not treated Gold, but has worked with prodigies like her. Some of it is developed through habits and practices that feed the athletic quest for excellence but drive these individuals further away from being healthy, productive non-athletes.

The Olympic swimming great Michael Phelpsthe N. All-Star DeMar DeRozan and the champion skier Lindsey Vonn are among those who have opened up in recent years about their struggles with depression.

Gold, 23, decided last fall that she was ready to talk publicly about her ordeal, including an unhealthy relationship with food that, at her lowest point, led to an extreme weight gain.

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She sat for a series of interviews, displaying her wry sense of humor but very little skin, wearing baggy, long-sleeve sweatshirts and jackets that camouflaged her physique.

Gold had lost more than half the extra weight but was too self-conscious, she said, to wear anything as revealing as a tank top or shorts.

The place where Gold feels most at ease is the ice. She returned to it nine months ago, armed with new insights, coping mechanisms and a revamped support team that she hopes will help her better navigate the Olympic ambitions that she never completely abandoned, even at her nadir. Whether piecing together a program or her life, Gold is drawn to dramatic narratives, and this one was particularly irresistible: Detroit, where her collapse accelerated, would serve as a backdrop for her comeback.

She withdrew from nationals two weeks before she was to skate. Her performance in Moscow contributed to the decision. With less than seven months of consistent training behind her, she delivered a short program so ragged that she pulled out of the competition before the long program. Gold also realized that she did not relish the idea of returning to Michigan. She is so haunted by memories of her time there that, she said, she rerouted a December trip to California to visit her mother and twin sister because her original itinerary required her to fly through Detroit.

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Though it was there, in that Stygian apartment, that she bottomed out, Michigan was not where her problems began. Gold and her twin, Carly, were born 40 minutes apart on Aug. Throughout their childhood, she was fixated on being first, and flawless. In the classroom, she would furiously, and tearfully, erase an entire sentence if she misspelled a single word.

By second grade, she had found an outlet for her compulsiveness, taking formal skating lessons at a rink near the family home in Springfield, Mo. Carly followed her into the sport a few months later and did well, but never rivaled her sister. Unlike Gracie, she was wired more for fun than for perfection.

Through her teens, she was accompanied everywhere by her sister and her mother, Denise, a retired emergency room nurse. By the time Gold came along, U.She also holds the record for the highest short program score ever recorded by an American woman: Gold was raised in Springfield, Missouribefore moving to Springfield, Illinois. Gold started skating at age 8 after attending a friend's birthday party at her local rink in Springfield, Missouri.

Gold competed in pairs with Sean Hickey. They placed eighth in juvenile pairs at the U. Junior Championships. Gold was fourth on the novice level at the U. The next season, she competed on the junior level but finished sixth at the Midwestern Sectionals and failed to qualify for the national championships.

She then qualified for the U. Championships on the junior level, where she won both the short and long programs to win the gold medal. Her total of Gold won gold in all seven of her competitions this season leading into the U.

Gold won the silver medal at the event. She signed with International Management Group. Gold was named to the U. Team USA finished second overall. She then worked with a sports psychologist on her focus and refined her programs in Canton, Michigan.

NationalsGold placed ninth in the short program and first in the free skate, winning the silver medal overall with a score of At the World Championshipsshe placed ninth in the short program, fifth in the free skate, and sixth overall setting a new personal best total score of Gold's sixth-place finish along with teammate Ashley Wagner 's fifth-place finish secured three spots for the U. At the World Team Trophy in Tokyo, Gold placed third in the short program and third in the free skate to finish third overall, setting a personal and season best score total of Team USA won the team gold for the second time since In JulyGold became a Pandora Jewelry ambassador.

International Figure Skating Classic. At the NHK Trophyshe finished fourth. Gold was the third alternate for the Grand Prix Final. At the U. ChampionshipsGold placed first in the short program with She went on to win the free skate with another record score of By Erica Tempesta For Dailymail. Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold has revealed that her eating disorder started after one of her coaches made an offhanded remark about her butt being too big when she was a teenager.

In a sit-down interview with Savannah Guthrie that aired on the Today show Friday morning, the year-old athlete detailed how her coach's comment about her weight led her to start counting calories and eventually starving herself.

Looking back: During the interview, Gold revealed that her eating disorder started after one of her coaches made a comment about her butt being too big.

Gold began a dangerous cycle of binging and restricting her food, indulging as much as she could consume on the weekend only to starve herself during the week. But then throughout the week, I would be like you can have three coffees and two apples. Gold believed her eating disorder was something that she would deal with after she was done competing, noting that restrictive eating is 'not a unique thing' in figure skating culture. I had a can of potatoes.

When she headed to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she was portrayed as figure skating's 'golden girl. Olympic team win a bronze medal and came in fourth place in the women's singles event. Gold said it was an 'incredible' time for her,' but she also admitted that she felt like a 'fraud in a way' because of her inner demons. Gold hit her breaking point after the World Figure Skating Championships; she was expected to take home the gold but ended up coming in fourth place.

Defining moment: 'He was like, "Look at your butt. Looking back, she wishes she took time off from skating right then and there, but she moved to Detroit, Michigan, to continue training, even though she could barely get out of bed.

Gold's lackluster performance was such a fall from grace that some of the judges cried while delivering their critiques, according to the Times. They can see how bad it is and then can kick me off the team and then I can go about my sad life.

Inner demons: The athlete admitted restrictive eating is 'not a unique thing' in figure skating culture. She is pictured at an exhibition gala at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Depths of despair: The athlete imagined taking her own life and no one finding her body until her landlord came to collect her rent. S Figure Skating covered the cost of her entry into an inpatient program for eating disorders at The Meadows in Arizona. It didn't ruin my life. I allowed my behavior while I was skating to ruin my own life.

While undergoing treatment, she withdrew from the U. Figure Skating Championships, which took her out of consideration for the U. Olympic Team. Gold moved to Philadelphia last spring to work with her a new coach, Vincent Restencourt, and started training again ten months ago. Although she was ready to return to the rink, she stressed that she isn't all of a sudden healed.The way Gracie Gold explains it, she was set up on a blind date while attending the U.

Figure Skating Championships. A backstage group convinced her to swap phone numbers with Frenchman Vincent Restencourta former world junior medalist turned coach. Gold had begun to dabble in coaching herself. Restencourt offered her a weeklong gig at his rink. But when she got to IceWorks in Aston, Pa. Not to coach, but to skate again.

golden moment gracie gold

I had my nose pierced. Gold was convinced that, at the very least, she should get into skating shape to participate in shows and make some money. She flew back to Arizona, packed and was in Pennsylvania two weeks later. She finished 10 th out of 10 skaters in the short program due to a fall on a triple flip and a popped Axel and ultimately withdrew before the free skate.

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She also skipped the national championships ; instead, she gave a detailed and personal interview that week to the New York Times. That conversation happened in February, though a similar one took place days before our interview with Gold. That frazzled her. Now the focus is on physical fitness and athletic ability.

Then we can jump more, and spin more and train more. And then we can compete. OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us! The last full week of April was supposed to provide clarity for the Olympic diving competition. The last Olympic quota spots have yet to be doled out. The U. Olympic Trials, originally set for June in Indianapolis, are postponed indefinitely.

Some of them are worn out. Now they all get an extra 12 months. For U.