The Grand Prix kicks off next week with Skate America and Gracie Gold, the US silver medalist, is aiming to start out strong. Gold has only participated in one international competition so far this season, which was the Japan Open on Oct. 3, and she did not perform well. The Japan Open is made up of teams and is not an official ISU event, but even so she finished in last place overall in a six-skater field.
“The first couple days coming back from the Japan Open I was feeling a little down about it because it was just a speed bump and I just kind of choked really,” Gracie said during a USFS media call on Thursday, Oct. 15. “I got nervous and I just didn’t rely on all of my training and hard work, I kind of froze.” As Gracie turns her sight to Skate America she is attempting to put the Japan Open behind her and is trying to “pretend that it didn’t happen.”
This season Gracie Gold has high expectations for herself and for her programs as she is already connecting with both of them well. Gracie is skating to “El Choclo” by Ángel Villoldo in her short and Selections from Firebird by Igor Stravinsky in her free skate. “I really like my programs this year,” Gold said. “Last year I just felt like my long program it just didn’t suit me…I didn’t really relate to it and I couldn’t connect with it and the audience—it just wasn’t very me. Both of my programs this year have a lot of good energy and are full of life and they are fun and exciting and I feel like they are definitely closer to me.”
Many of the elite ladies this season are attempting triple axels and the race is on in the US to see which lady will land a clean one in competition first. Gracie is also working on getting this element under her belt and seems well on her way. She spent a lot of the summer working on the triple axel and making some great strides. Gold believes that her coach, Frank Carroll, will probably not want to include it in competition until next season unless she can land it in the next month or so, and then there would be the possibility of including it at Nationals. Gold was working on the triple axel quite a bit, but had a hard fall before the Japan Open and has taken a break from training it, but will resume work on the element after Skate America.
Gracie will be up against some strong competitors at Skate America which includes world silver medalist, Satoko Miyahara, Kazakhstan’s Elizabet Tursynbaeva, So Youn Park from Korea, and Russian Julia Lipnitskaia. It’s a tough field but Gold is clear on her goals for the season. “At my Grand Prix this year I really want to have consistent performances in the short program and the long program, putting out good performances in the same competition,” Gracie said. “I would like to consistently skate very well at Skate America and France to qualify for the Final in Barcelona again this year. And then further on in the year I’m looking to win US Nationals this year and I really want a spot on the world podium in Boston, so those are my main goals.”