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Gracie Gold debated skipping Grand Prix season

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Gracie Gold thought about skipping the fall Grand Prix season while taking “time to find that joy” again in figure skating this summer.

On’s Ice Talk podcast, Gold said she spent months “avoiding dealing with” the disappointment of falling from first after the world championships short program to finish fourth on April 2.

“I thought about not doing the Grand Prix this year this summer, just because, am I ready?” Gold, the reigning U.S. champion still searching for her first individual Olympic or worlds medal, said on the podcast published Wednesday. “But then I thought about not doing it. I would rather do the process, and I’d rather train for it and compete and have it maybe not be perfect than not do it at all. That’s just not my style to just sit this one out.”

Gold said she showed up at her home rink in California four days out of the month of July, according to

“I’ve had some struggles,” she said in August, according to the website. “June and July were really hard for me. That’s when worlds depression really hit. I was on vacation. I had a lot of down time.”

Gold decided to go ahead and compete in the Grand Prix series after talking with others. The first of her two events is Skate America this weekend (broadcast schedule here).

Gold struggled at the free-skate-only Japan Open on Oct. 1, finishing sixth out of six skaters. Still, Gold said “it would be a mistake” if she didn’t compete at all before the U.S. Championships in January.

MORE: Skate America preview

Team USA Opening Ceremony uniforms have heaters

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The U.S. Olympic team uniforms for the PyeongChang Opening Ceremony contain heating components that will last up to 11 hours.

Ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani and bobsledder Aja Evans wore the uniforms on TODAY on Monday.

The heat technology will come in handy.

The PyeongChang Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9 (live streaming on and the NBC Sports app) will be in an outdoor stadium, likely in below-freezing temperatures.

From USA Today:

“The athletes can set the temperature (there are three settings) via their cellphones. The heat can last up to five hours on the high setting and 11 hours on the low setting, fully charged.”

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MORE: PyeongChang Olympic schedule daily highlights

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Jamaica misses Olympic men’s bobsled by one spot

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The only Jamaican bobsled team in PyeongChang will be its women’s bobsled team.

Jamaica missed qualifying a two-man bobsled team for the Olympics by one spot in rankings finalized last week.

Jamaica still had a chance to sneak into the 30-sled Olympic field if one of the qualified nations declined a spot, but that didn’t happen.

The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation made it official Monday, publishing the Olympic fields for each event.

At least one Jamaican men’s sled competed in every Olympics from 1988 through 2002, then again in 2014.

Sochi driver Winston Watts retired, but a new team was formed in this Olympic cycle that included former Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals running back Michael Blair.

New driver Seldwyn Morgan competed on the lower-level North American Cup the last three seasons with a top finish of seventh.

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MORE: Would Usain Bolt make a good bobsledder?