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Gracie Gold withdraws from nationals

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Two-time U.S. champion Gracie Gold announced Wednesday that she will not be participating in the 2019 nationals later this month in Detroit.

The 2014 Sochi Olympic team bronze medalist competed just once this season on the Grand Prix circuit in Russia. She withdrew after the short program at Rostelecom Cup.

Gold told her followers that she’s “trusted the process” since returning to competitive skating, but is choosing instead to look at the long-term goals for her career. She wrote:

Since my return to competitive skating, I’ve had one mantra: Trust the Process. While difficult at times, coming back to skating has been the best decision I could have made. A large part of trusting the process has me looking more at the big picture of my career. My goal is the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. With that being said, I have decided it is in my best interest to withdraw from the 2019 championships. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but ultimately the right one. 

I have already begun preparations for next year. This is a great opportunity for me to get a jump start on the season. I want to thank everyone for their support this past season, as the feedback I have received has been quite tremendous. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I wish everyone the best of luck at the Championships. See you all soon. 😘

Earlier this week, her new coach took to Instagram to write how proud he was of his pupil. He said:

Gracie ,
As you know it takes time for me to trust someone but recently you showed me that I can trust you 🙂 I wanted to say publicly how proud I’m of you because I know what you went through the last 2 years and to see you building your way back is inspirational, since Russia you are a totally different athlete and that shows me that next season you will be back ! Keep pushing like you have been doing in the last few weeks and you will get what you want the most . You have my full support and I’m so exited to be part of this journey . @graciegold95 #thequeenwillbeback #iceworks #usfs #cantwaittoseeyousuceed #letsdoit

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Since my return to competitive skating, I’ve had one mantra: Trust the Process. While difficult at times, coming back to skating has been the best decision I could have made. A large part of trusting the process has me looking more at the big picture of my career. My goal is the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. With that being said, I have decided it is in my best interest to withdraw from the 2019 championships. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but ultimately the right one. I have already begun preparations for next year. This is a great opportunity for me to get a jump start on the season. I want to thank everyone for their support this past season, as the feedback I have received has been quite tremendous. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish everyone the best of luck at the Championships. See you all soon. 😘

A post shared by Gracie Gold (@graciegold95) on

MORE: Karen Chen to skip nationals

As a reminder, you can watch the U.S. Championships live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Weekend Gymnastics Roundup: Carey and McCusker on World Cup podium

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World medalists Jade Carey and Riley McCusker headlined gymnastics action over the weekend as the World Cup circuit continued with an all-around competition in Birmingham, England, and an apparatus event in Doha, Qatar.

Carey won both the vault and floor events in Doha, pushing her to the top of the standings on both apparatus (she also won the vault and floor competitions the previous weekend at the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan).

Doha marked the halfway point of apparatus World Cups, putting Carey in a promising position to qualify for the Tokyo Games heading into the next four events. The apparatus World Cup series includes a total of eight competitions spread over two seasons, and one gymnast per apparatus will qualify for the Olympics based on his or her top three results across the eight events.

Carey, 18, was the 2017 world silver medalist on vault and floor. But she opted not to try for a spot on the 2018 World Championships team due to the International Gymnastics Federation’s rules that active team members who help their countries qualify team spots for Tokyo (as the U.S. women did in November) cannot earn individual spots. Carey, an apparatus specialist rather than an all-around gymnast, chose the World Cup route to keep open her options of qualifying individually.

McCusker, who was part of the U.S. team that won the world title last year, finished second at the all-around World Cup in Birmingham, posting the top scores on the uneven bars and floor. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, a seven-time Olympic medalist, won the event. Mustafina bounced back from a shaky showing last weekend at the World Cup in Stuttgart, where she finished fifth in an event won by Simone Biles. Mustafina, 24, is trying to qualify for her third Olympics after giving birth to daughter Alisa in June 2017.

The all-around World Cup circuit continues on April 7 in Tokyo, Japan, where two-time world all-around medalist Morgan Hurd and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak are expected to compete.

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW — Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.