For Gold, performing is "a way to share what I love to do with the rest of the world. You can share that emotion, like an actor," the ice skater said. If you've seen her powerhouse triple-triple combinations, you'll agree she's quite a pro at pairing athleticism with artistry. "Skating can make you feel athletic, graceful, beautiful," says Gold. "That's what makes [the sport] so special."
To stay strong for all the show-stopping flips and balancing acts she does on ice, the skater focuses on her core in the gym. Her favorite do-anywhere move? Core rotations with a resistance band, which target her obliques. Get a few of these in under your belt and you'll be ready to hit the ice thanks to overall increased balance (and a whittled waist, to boot!)
Wrap a resistance band around a pole or a bench at a height even with your elbows. Stand at a distance that will give you medium resistance, grasping the handles in front of you with both hands, palms facing your body. Keep arms bent so that handles are in front of your belly button. Twist to the right and then the left, being sure to keep your entire lower body rigid and back straight. Do 2 sets of 10 on both sides. If you find yourself getting tired and moving your hips, do more sets with less reps, such as 4 sets of 6.
Skater Gracie Gold returned from training sessions in Austria on Saturday, only to be grilled immediately about one of her chief competitors: Yulia Lipnitskaya, the 15-year-old Russian phenom who bested Gold in the team event.
“Yulia is a machine and an excellent skater,” Gold said, graciously. “When it comes down to competition, it’s not always about the best skater, it’s about who skates the best in that competition. We’re just going to try to beat her at her own game and her own turf and at the end, leave everything on the ice.” “He’s been a rock these past couple of months,” Gold said of Carroll. “He’s never thrown off or surprised about anything. He’s so calm. He’s been a great influence.”
Between photos and insights about their Olympic experience, some Olympians are turning over their social media accounts to sponsors, agreeing to quotas of postings on Twitter and Facebook and letting other people send commercial messages in their name.
The agents for US figure skaters Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold both say sponsors draft some of their tweets, plugging their brands.
"This is the first Olympics where I actually have a social media calendar, where an athlete has to tweet or mention something on a given day," Gold's agent, Yuki Saegusa, said in an interview. "We get a list of tweets or social media things that need to be posted and then we approve them for her," said Saegusa, senior vice president for Olympic clients at sports management giant IMG.
Although they "encourage" Gold to post the pre-packaged commercial tweets to her 65,000 followers herself, sometimes others do it for her. "We want it to be from her point of view, and from her mouth and from her fingers. So we try to get her to do them - mostly," Saegusa said. "We're in a very new age now where a lot of advertising, or PR, or promotions, is social media. That's becoming a very important aspect of marketing."
Legendary figure skating coach Frank Carroll discusses Gracie Gold with his former student Michelle Kwan and Peter Schrager.
Last month, figure skater Gracie Gold achieved the highest women's score in the history of the U.S. national championship. This week she enters women's figure skating in Sochi as the American leader. But while the 18-year-old said she appreciates her spot at the Winter Games, she has her sights set high.
“I think I could give the podium a go, for sure,” Gold told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “I know some people say that I’m a dark horse, but I think I’m a little bit lighter in color.” Watch the video here: Gold talk about what it takes to be a fierce competitor, and demonstrate her unique talent off the ice: "I'm an elite, recreational juggler.”
Gracie Gold's coach had a terrible nosebleed and was forced to skip her warmup. She felt "stiff and white as a ghost" from the nerves. Even when she was midair, nothing felt quite perfect. So much went wrong for Gold on Wednesday, she might have just thrown up her hands, downgraded her jumps and surrendered to fate. Instead, the U.S. national champ battled through the awkwardness, landed her elements and survived the Olympic short program.
The end result was a mixed bag. She finished the night fine placement-wise, in fourth. But Gold must make up a hefty 5.49 points in the long program on Thursday to reach the podium. "When I came down from (her first triple lutz), I thought, 'This is my Olympic moment? I'm going to be on my butt?'" Gold said. "But I said no. I had to fight, because it's all about points. I had to trust my training and say a little prayer. It wasn't perfect."
Gracie Gold speaks with coach Frank Carroll — who has to plug a nostril with tissue to slow a bloody nose — before competing in the short program.