So brave! Gracie Gold, America’s best hope for women’s figure skating medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics has announced she’s taking time away from the ice to seek professional help.
Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold, 22, just isn’t feeling herself these days and she’s made the remarkable move of making her need for mental help known to the entire world. “My passion for skating and training remains strong. However, after recent struggles on and off the ice, I realize I need to seek some professional help and will be taking some time off while preparing for my Grand Prix [of Figure Skating] assignments,” Gold said in a statement first reported by USA Today. She added, “This time will help me become a stronger person, which I believe will be reflected in my skating performances as well.” Here are five things to know about Gracie.
1. Gracie is a two-time U.S. National Champion in ladies figure skating.
She won nationals in 2014 and 2016. Unfortunately her skating has been problematic in the last year, as she finished in a disappointing sixth place at the 2017 nationals.
2. Gracie’s skating talent has been in a free fall for the past 18 months.
Clearly something has been off for the former champ, as she tumbled from first to fourth at the 2016 world championships in Boston. At 2016’s Skate America she had problems landing even the simplest of jumps and finished in fourth place. She didn’t even medal in the 2017 U.S. nationals.
3. Gracie has hinted at depression issues related to skating in the past.
After her disastrous 2016 Skate America performance she said that she was suffering from “post worlds summer depression” as to why she skated to poorly, adding that she was just starting to feel like herself again. Click here for pics of Gracie.
4. Gracie is hoping for one of three spots of the U.S. ladies team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The timing of her stepping away from skating is unprecedented, as the Winter Games are only five months away. But skating is as much mental as it is physical. Months of endless training come down to one three-minute long program where she has to get everything right to medal, as even one fall or falter can stop her from reaching the podium. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she narrowly missed a medal, coming in fourth place. She has already been featured in ads for NBC’s 2018 Winter Olympics coverage so the pressure is on.
5. Gracie should be back on the ice by November.
If all goes well with her therapy, she will return to the ice for her Grand Prix assignments in Beijing, China and Grenoble, France two months from now. However, she will be skipping the Japan Open on Oct. 7.
HollywoodLifers, do you think it’s brave that Gracie is being open about needing professional help to deal with the pressures of her sport?