Up-and-coming young figure skater and US Junior National Champion Gracie Gold dazzled as the guest skater for the Saturday Night Ice Show in Lake Placid on July 7.
Gold has lived up to her surname this past season, winning the Midwestern Sectional Championship, the Junior National title in San Jose, Calif. and the prestigious Junior Grand Prix competition in Estonia. She also placed second at the Junior World Championships in Belarus.
Gold was one of the two skaters selected to participate in the 2012 World Team Trophy event in Japan, where she helped Team USA place second.
Gracie Gold performs at the Saturday Night Ice Show in Lake Placid on July 7.
"The highlight of the past year was a tie between the World Team Trophy event and the Junior World Championships," Gold said.
Relatively new to the elite skating scene, Gold is already being hailed as one of the most promising up-and-coming American skaters. She started as many skaters do, skating on a public ice skating session.
"I had just turned 8 years old, and went to my best friend's birthday party at the local ice rink," she said. "I saw figure skaters on the public sessions practicing spins; after that, I asked my mom to sign us up for figure skating lessons. I have loved it ever since".
Gold's rise up the rankings has been relatively quick; she went from placing fourth in the 2010 National Championships as a Novice and placing sixth as a Junior in Midwest Sectional Championships to being a Junior champion last season.
After not qualifying for the 2011 National Championships in the junior division, she focused on increased technical content, and her results reflected great improvement.
Gold currently trains in Chicago, with her coach Alexander Ouriashev. Both Gold girls skate; Gracie's twin sister Carly also competes and has competed in the Midwestern Sectional Championships (the qualifier competition that determines who competes at the National Championships). Carly also performed one program in the Saturday Night Ice Show.
One would think having a sibling participating in the same sport can be challenging, but Gracie enjoys skating with her sister.
"It's really fun and motivational to skate with Carly," Gracie said.
Gold is preparing for next year's season, which will mark her first year as a Senior competitor. She has been assigned two Grand Prix events for the 2012-2013 season, and has set her goal for the National Championships.
"I am really looking forward to competing at Skate Canada and Cup of Russia, they are really big competitions with great skaters" Gold said. "I hope to place in the top 5 at Nationals, but it's too soon to tell,"
Her Lake Placid Ice Show experience was pivotal not only because it was her first guest skating appearance, but also because it was her first time in the state.
"This was my first time in New York in general. it's really beautiful here in Lake Placid, there's no place quite like it," she said.