Gracie Gold: Olympic Profile of US Figure Skating Hopeful for Sochi 2014

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2014

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Crash Course: Gracie Gold has a chance to become the next darling of American figure skating. She raised her profile by finishing third at Skate Canada in October and fourth at the NHK Trophy in November, and she is on track for a spot on the U.S. figure skating team in Sochi. Gold's rapid improvement and eye-catching looks give her a chance to become a skating superstar. She often juggles before she competes to calm her nerves.

Athletic Profile: Gold, 18, won a silver medal at the U.S. skating championships in Omaha in 2013 and a silver medal at the world junior championships in Minsk in 2012. She is known for the height of her jumps and her athleticism. Gold's leaping ability could be key to her medal chances. 



The Controversy: After finishing fourth in the NHK Trophy event, Gold posed with with victorious Japanese skater Mao Asada and tweeted the photo with the text, “Onry one more sandwrich!” While she took it down quickly and replaced it with "Only one more sandwich," the original tweet was perceived as mocking Japanese speech. Gold apologized for the first tweet.

Coaching Change: Gold split with her long-time coach Alex Ouriashev in August and is now mentored by Frank Carroll, who made his name working with Olympic medalists Michelle Kwan and Evan Lysacek. While Carroll is one of the most venerated names in skating, a coaching change just months before the Olympics is cause for concern.

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Social Profile: Gold has nearly 11,000 Instagram followers and roughly 13,000 Twitter followers. She also has her own website and is sponsored by Nike.

Off the Ice: The Olympic hopeful started off her athletic career by taking up swimming and gymnastics. Gold wants to have a career in medicine when she is finished with skating. She has a twin sister Carly, who also skates.