Gracie Gold was on a roll this season, winning the NHK Trophy and qualifying for the Grand Prix Final, when her plans were sidelined by an unexpected injury. Gold was forced to withdraw from the Final when she discovered she had a small stress fracture on her foot. It was devastating for her, but weeks have gone by and she has now recovered and is preparing for the 2015 U.S. National Championships.
“I’m very happy to announce that I am am feeling strong, fully healthy going into the National Championships,” Gracie said in a teleconference on January 13, 2015. “I’m ready to lay down some great programs and take the title again.”
Gold was unable to perform triple jumps for several weeks while dealing with her injury, forcing her to focus on other elements of her skating like transitions, spins, speed, flow and making an emotional connection to the music and the audience.
“I think I am physically stronger than I was before the injury just because I’ve had a lot of time to work out since I wasn’t skating,” Gracie said. “When I came back it was really easy to get back to my old routine, all of the triples came back really quickly.”
Now Gold sets her sights on the U.S. Nationals where she is up against some tough competitors, one of them being two-time National Champion Ashley Wagner.
“The rivalry with Ashley, I think it’s pushed us both to not just be better competitors, but better skaters in general,” Gracie said. “She’s one of my biggest competitors in the US. It’s been a non-hostile rivalry, but I think it’s just made us better. I was super jealous that she got to go to the Final while I had my foot injury, it just pushed me to train even harder leading into this nationals.”
Gold’s injury has healed, yet she is still limited specifically on how many triple toe loops she can perform each day. Regardless, Gracie is confident that her triple lutz-triple toe combination will not be hindered due to the injury. “I won’t call it a blessing, but some good things came out of it,” she said.
A lot of good has come out of Gracie Gold’s career, one of those things being her newly formed friendship with singing icon, Taylor Swift. Swift followed Gold on Twitter after watching her perform at the Olympic Games and they began Direct Messaging each other and soon Taylor gave Gracie her phone number. Text messages led to dinner, which led to baking cookies at Taylor’s place while Gracie was in New York and led to a recent trip to Santa Catalina Island together along with Lorde, Jaime King and members of the band Haim.
“It was just one of those whimsical things,” Gold said. “Just a casual text from Taylor Swift, no biggie.”
Gracie won her first national title last year, which qualified her for both the Olympic Games and the World Championships, so this year she is coming in as the defending champion.
“It feels different, not because I am a defending champion. Last year there was so much on the line not even related to winning a title, it determined the fate of who was going to the Olympics and who was going to the World Championships,” Gold explained. “This year it’s more low key and now it’s all about the title. So I feel like I am not defending anything, I’m just trying to win another one.”