Figure skater Gracie Gold is taking time off to seek “professional help” five months before the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“My passion for skating and training remains strong. 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,” Gold, 22, said in a statement to Us Weekly on Friday, September 1. “This time will help me become a stronger person, which I believe will be reflected in my skating performances as well.”
Though the two-time U.S. figure skating champion did not reveal what type of help she is seeking, a source exclusively tells Us, “She has been dealing with a couple of issues in her personal life and needs to take a step away and focus on her health. Her family and friends are so proud of her for being so brave and facing these issues directly. Everyone is so happy that she is stepping away from skating to take care of herself. It takes a lot of courage.”
Gold was scheduled to open her 2018 season at the Japan Open in Saitama on October 7, but she will no longer attend the event. She plans to return for her Grand Prix assignments — the Cup of China in Beijing and the Internationaux de France in Genoble, France — in November.
The 2018 U.S. Olympic figure skating trials will be held in early January. The 2018 Winter Olympics kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on February 9.
Gold, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, previously opened up about her struggles with the body standards in her sport. “You just don’t see overweight figure skaters for some reason,” she told USA Today in October 2016. “It’s just something I’ve struggled with this whole year and in previous seasons. It’s just difficult when you’re trying to do the difficult triple jumps. It’s something that I am addressing but it’s obviously not where it should be for this caliber of competition.”
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