Gracie Gold

Carly Gold, Gracie Gold
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TODAY feature on twins Gracie, Carly Gold at U.S. Championships (video)

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Gracie Gold finished celebrating in the kiss-and-cry area, did her TV interview and then locked eyes with perhaps her biggest fan Saturday night.

Twin sister Carly Gold stood a few feet away, next to the rink in St. Paul, Minn.

They embraced. Gracie, the Olympic bronze medalist, in her “Firebird” performance costume, minutes after her come-from-behind victory for her second national title in three years.

Carly in sweats and a credential, three hours after she performed her free skate to place 19th at her first U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“There are fairytale endings,” Gracie said, looking into Carly’s eyes, as Carly bawled.

A month earlier, Carly called her qualifying for her first Nationals “my own personal fairytale.”

MORE: Jason Brown left off World Championships team

FAIRYTALE ENDINGS DO EXIST❤️ #uschamps16

A photo posted by Carly Gold (@carlycgold) on

U.S. Figure Skating names women’s World Championships team

Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds
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The U.S. will send the same three women to three straight World Figure Skating Championships for the second time ever.

U.S. champion is Gracie Gold is joined by runner-up Polina Edmunds and third-place Ashley Wagner on the team named for the World Championships in Boston in two months, U.S. Figure Skating announced Sunday.

They were also assigned to the Four Continents Championships in Taiwan from Feb. 18-20, but Wagner declined her spot. Mirai Nagasu, the 2010 Olympian who was fourth at Nationals, will take her place.

On Saturday, Gold erased the largest short-program lead in women’s Nationals history (under the 11-year-old scoring system) to beat Edmunds and claim her second U.S. title in three years.

Wagner, a three-time U.S. champion, moved up from fourth to third to ensure her place on the Worlds team.

Gold, 20, finished sixth, fifth and fourth at the last three Worlds and fourth at the 2014 Olympics.

Edmunds, 17, placed eighth at the last two World Championships and ninth at the Olympics.

Wagner, 24, was fourth, fifth, seventh and fifth at the last four Worlds and seventh at the Olympics.

The only other time the U.S. sent the same three women to three straights Worlds was 1999-2001, with Michelle KwanSarah Hughes and Angela Nikodinov.

The U.S. has not won a women’s medal at the World Championships (or Olympics) since 2006, its longest drought since World War I.

U.S. Figure Skating Championships All-Access Page 

U.S. team for World Championships
Men — Adam RipponMax AaronNathan Chen
Women — Gracie GoldPolina EdmundsAshley Wagner
Pairs — Tarah KanyeDanny O’Shea; Alexa Scimeca, Chris Knierim
Ice Dance — Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani; Madison Chock, Evan Bates; Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue

Gracie Gold overtakes Polina Edmunds for second U.S. figure skating title

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gracie Gold started her free skate needing a near-perfect performance to overcome her shaky short program.

She did just that with a sizzling rendition of “The Firebird” on Saturday night to win her second U.S. title.

“It was almost better going in that way knowing I couldn’t miss anything,” Gold said. “I needed every single point. Every ounce of firebird I had needed to be left out there.”

Gold had trailed Polina Edmunds by 7.69 points, but she landed seven triple jumps cleanly and earned high artistic marks to overtake the teenager.

“I know every single step and the whole rhythm of the program,” Gold said. “It’s like a necklace that is strung. … It’s so well-rehearsed that messing up feels out of character.”

Gold scored 147.96 points for a total of 210.46. The 17-year-old Edmunds had 137.32 points in her free skate for 207.51 total.

Three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner was cruising through her program with just one more jump to land when she did only one rotation of a planned triple lutz. In the end, those lost points didn’t matter — she would have finished third behind Gold and Edmunds even with them.

MORE: Visit NBC Sports’ U.S. Championships All-Access page

It was also a singled triple lutz that left Gold describing herself as “flummoxed” after her short program. But skating last Saturday, she fearlessly attacked each jump. When the final note had played, she threw her arms out and head back in triumph.

Edmunds, a 2014 Olympian seeking her first U.S. title, handled the pressure with poise but under-rotated one jump.

“I really think I showed a good champion mentality,” she said.

Tyler Pierce, another 17-year-old who was third after the short program, fell on her triple flip, lost points on a step sequence and earned low artistic scores to drop to fifth. Mirai Nagasu, a 2010 Olympian, was fourth.

Earlier, new champions were crowned in ice dance and pairs, with siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani and Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea each winning their first national title.

The Shibutanis overtook defending champs Madison Chock and Evan Bates with a rousing free dance. They trailed by .47 points after the short dance but earned a standing ovation for their program Saturday to “Fix You” by Coldplay, receiving 115.47 points for 190.14 total.

Kayne and O’Shea took the ice last in pairs, just needing to skate cleanly. Cautious but calm, they did what their rivals couldn’t and clinched a lopsided win with a record score.

They earned 142.04 points for the long program for 211.65 total, the highest mark ever at Nationals, beating defending champs Alexa Scimeca and Christopher Knierim.

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