Gracie Gold, a two-time national champion and 2014 Olympian, has qualified for the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which will be held Jan. 11-21 in Las Vegas.
The results of the 2021 U.S. Figure Skating Championships Series were revealed Tuesday morning and showed Gold among the 18 women who will contend for the national title next month. She was the most notable skater of any discipline who had yet to earn her spot at the event leading into the final qualifier. The event, held virtually due to the pandemic, required skaters to submit a proctored free skate on video, which was scored by a panel of judges.
Senior-level events are available for on-demand viewing on Peacock Premium and the junior events will be available the week of Dec. 28.
The 25-year-old Gold finished seventh in the 47-woman field with a free skate score of 106.50. The top nine women qualified, led by Paige Rydberg’s 114.69. Nine others had already earned byes from their results at the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships or 2020 International Selection Pool Points Challenge.
Gold won the U.S. title in 2014 and 2016, and has finished fourth at three of the sport’s major global championships: the 2014 Olympics, 2015 World Championships and 2016 World Championships. She then left the sport in the fall of 2017 to receive treatment for an eating disorder, depression and anxiety, and went two seasons without completing a competition.
The 2014 Olympic team event bronze medalist returned last season with a goal of making the 2022 Olympic team. She finished 12th at the 2020 U.S. Championships. This season, Gold was 14th of 17 skaters in the virtual ISP Points Challenge and 12th of 12 at Skate America.
“I didn’t bring any energy out onto the ice,” Gold said at Skate America.
Las Vegas will mark Gold’s seventh senior-level U.S. championships. The women’s field is highlighted by two-time defending champion Alysa Liu, 2020 Skate America gold medalist Mariah Bell and 2018 U.S. champion Bradie Tennell, who finished top three the past two seasons.
Eric Sjoberg, the 2020 U.S. junior silver medalist, scored 159.03 to win the 19-skater men’s virtual qualifier. Emily Chan and Spencer Howe, who teamed up in 2019, were first among the six pairs teams with a 105.94. An ice dance event was not held due to the number of entries.