Regardless of how you feel about figure skating, it’s one of the most popular events of the Winter Olympics. And the “Ladies’ singles” event is always the highlight of the competition. With the American men unlikely to medal, the United States’ best chance for an individual spot on the podium is 18-year-old Gracie Gold.
The Americans finished third in the team event and ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White are heavy favorites in their competition, but Gold looks like the only individual skater with a real shot at medaling in Sochi. In her first Olympic showing ever, Gold was outstanding in the team portion of the Games and emerged as a potential contender in the individual event.
Since she’s relatively new to the scene, we’ll go ahead and give you everything you need to know about the young phenom with the best name in the Olympics.
Gracie Elizabeth Gold was born in Newton, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston) and grew up in Springfield, Missouri. She now lives in Los Angeles with her mother, Denise, and her twin sister, Carly, who is also a skater.
Gold looks like she comes right out of Central Casting for a Disney princess. She has what should be an award-winning smile, always says the right things and always looks like she’s enjoying herself. Seriously, the girl is always smiling.
She won the silver medal at the World Junior Championships in 2012, then took silver at the United States Championships in 2013, finishing just behind Ashley Wagner. At the 2014 U.S. Championships, Gold blew away the field by more than 18 points.
She is currently ranked 11th in the world as of January 25, 2014. Despite that ranking, Gold dazzled the judges and the crowd during the team even in Sochi, scoring a 129.38 in her free skate, second-best among the women competing. That helped seal a bronze medal for the United States team, though it was all but sewn up by the time Gold hit the ice.
Will she win a medal next week when the women take the ice? There’s no way to know, but you can bet she’s going to be all over your televisions and her name will be thrown around like crazy. She is almost certain to be back in four years when the Games are in Pyeongchang, South Korea, so get used to having Gracie Gold around.