Gracie Gold
Getty Images

Gracie Gold in treatment for eating disorder, depression

3 Comments

Figure skater Gracie Gold is in treatment for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. She has withdrawn from her next two scheduled competitions in November.

“It saddens me deeply to sit out this Grand Prix Series, but I know it is for the best,” Gold said in a statement. “I am currently in treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I will not have adequate training time to prepare and compete at the level that I want to. I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating, my fans and my sponsors for their ongoing support. I also want to thank [coaches] Marina [Zoueva] and Oleg [Epstein] for standing beside me through this journey and most of all my family for their unconditional love.”

Gold, a Sochi Olympic team bronze medalist and two-time U.S. champion, will not compete at Cup of China or Internationaux de France, her two Grand Prix assignments in November.

She has no scheduled international competitions at the moment. The PyeongChang Olympic team will be chosen after the U.S. Championships in January.

On Sept. 1, Gold announced she was taking time away from figure skating to seek unspecified professional help.

Gold, the top American woman at the Sochi Olympics in fourth place, has not been the same skater since dropping from first after the 2016 World Championships short program to finish fourth, again just missing her first individual global medal.

She considered skipping the fall 2016 Grand Prix season, talking openly about physical struggles and even depression in that offseason.

The 22-year-old last competed at the U.S. Championships in January, placing a disastrous sixth.

She split from coach Frank Carroll at nationals. Gold then announced in February that she moved to Michigan to train under new coaches Zoueva and Epstein.

Then on Sept. 1, Gold announced she was taking a leave. She withdrew from her first event of the season, the Japan Open on Oct. 7.

“My passion for skating and training remains strong,” Gold said in the reported Sept. 1 statement. “However, after recent struggles on and off the ice, I realize I need to seek some professional help and will be taking some time off while preparing for my Grand Prix assignments. This time will help me become a stronger person, which I believe will be reflected in my skating performances as well.”

If and when Gold returns this season, she will be behind in the race for three Olympic spots. They will be earned based not only on nationals but also recent domestic and international events.

The favorites are 2014 Olympian Ashley Wagner, 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu and reigning U.S. champion Karen Chen.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Wagner details dropping ‘La La Land’ free skate

Tommy Ford ends U.S. men’s World Cup drought at Beaver Creek

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tommy Ford earned his first World Cup win at age 30 and ended the U.S. men’s longest victory and podium droughts in two decades.

Ford won the giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Sunday, the last North American race on tour this season. He prevailed by eight tenths of a second combining times over two runs.

Full results are here.

Ford became the first U.S. man to win a World Cup since Travis Ganong took a downhill on Jan. 27, 2017. He also became the first U.S. male podium finisher since Ted Ligety in January 2018. Both were the longest droughts for the program since the late 1990s.

Ford, a 2010 and 2018 Olympian who missed the 2014 Olympics due to a broken femur, had been working toward this moment. He finished a World Cup career-high fourth at the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27. Last season, he had a pair of top-five results.

The men’s World Cup moves to Val d’Isere, France, next weekend for a giant slalom and slalom.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: 2019-20 Alpine skiing TV, live stream schedule

Katie Ledecky wins race by 30 seconds, takes back No. 1 ranking

Leave a comment

In her last race of the year, Katie Ledecky ensured she would finish 2019 as the world’s fastest 1500m freestyler.

Ledecky clocked 15:35.98 at the U.S. Open in Atlanta, winning the longest event on the Olympic pool program by 29.97 seconds. Typical for Ledecky, who owns the nine fastest times in history. This one came in at No. 8. Full meet results are here.

Ledecky scratched the 1500m free final at the summer world championships due to illness. Italian Simona Quadarella went on to win that title in 15:40.89, which was the world’s fastest time this year until Saturday night.

“I didn’t have time on my mind at all today. I just wanted to have a consistent swim,” Ledecky, undefeated in 1500m free finals for nine years, said on NBCSN. “That’s probably the best mile that I’ve had in a while.”

The women’s 1500m freestyle debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo. Ledecky is expected to add that to her Rio Olympic individual lineup of 200m, 400m and 800m frees, assuming she is top two in each event at the June Olympic trials.

In other events Saturday, Erika Brown handed Simone Manuel a rare defeat in the 100m freestyle. Brown, a University of Tennessee senior, clocked 53.42 and lowered her personal best by .71 between prelims and the final. Brown moved from sixth to fourth in the U.S. rankings this year, upping her stock as a contender to make the Olympic 4x100m free relay pool via a top-six finish at trials.

Brown previously lowered her personal best in the 50m free on Thursday. She ranks third in the U.S. this year in that event.

Emily Escobedo dealt Lilly King a rare domestic defeat in the 200m breaststroke. Escobedo lowered her personal best by .87 and clocked 2:22.00, moving to seventh fastest in the world this year and remaining fourth among Americans.

In the men’s 200m breast, Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan was beaten by Cody Miller, the Olympic 100m breast silver medalist. Both were slower than their best times this year.

The next significant swim meet is a Tyr Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tenn., from Jan. 16-19.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Dressel recalls summer tears in Golden Goggles speech