Two-time national champion and 2014 Olympic team event bronze medalist Gracie Gold appeared on TODAY on Friday to describe the details of her battle with depression and an eating disorder.
“I remember feeling kind of like a fraud in a way,” Gold said during the interview. “I was ‘America’s sweetheart’ or I was ‘the golden girl’ and I was afraid to be real with my struggles because then I wouldn’t be as perfect as the media saw me.”
She recalled playing a game with herself, seeing how low she could keep her caloric intake for the day.
“No one needs to eat two pizzas in a sitting,” Gold said. “But then throughout the week, I’d be like, ‘you can have three coffees and two apples’ — and also like, ‘hey, update, that’s not right either!'”
She said she planned to deal with it after she was done skating.
“It just got more and more extreme until it was just unbearable,” she said.
Gold also talked about attending Champs Camp in 2017, the pre-season evaluation for U.S. skaters.
“I remember feeling like, they don’t need me there because I’m this washed-up loser,” Gold recalled. “I’m toxic. They can see how bad it is. They can kick me off the team and then I can go about my sad life.”
She said she wasn’t “actively suicidal.”
“But I definitely was at a point where I didn’t see myself existing much longer. Honestly, I was gonna live until my money ran out.”
After therapy — which she said wasn’t a magic wand — she started to want to have more good days than bad days.
She said the “ultimate dream” is Beijing 2022, but winning a medal at the world championships would be a bigger deal than going back to the Olympics.
The full interview is below:
MORE: Gold talks to the New York Times
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