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U.S. Olympic skater Gracie Gold chats with Kidsday reporters

Kidsday reporters Sophie Klein, Elizabeth Holden, Jackson Petroske

Kidsday reporters Sophie Klein, Elizabeth Holden, Jackson Petroske and Kira Mutarelli, all from the Laurel Hill School in East Setauket, with Olympic skater Gracie Gold at the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on April 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met Olympic skater Gracie Gold when she stopped by Chelsea Piers in Manhattan recently.

How do you feel about the people you were competing against?

Good question. It can be hard sometimes to be friendly to your competitors, but you never regret kindness. Kindness matters. And I think that if you can be friendly on the ice and if you can really enjoy competition and be nice to everyone, then no matter what the results, the whole atmosphere of the room and the rink is just lighter.

When you travel what do you miss the most?

I think I miss my own bed. Hilton Hotels have wonderful beds, Airweave has wonderful mattress toppers but there's nothing quite like going to sleep in your own room and sleeping in your own bed and waking up in your own room in your own home. And my puppies.

Which performance was your best?

I would say this season my personal best was in the team events when Team USA took the bronze medal at the Olympics. I did the long program parts in my blue dress. And I think that was one of the best skates that I had. It was perfect.

What makes you perform when you're having a difficult day?

It can be really hard, but for me it's all about going back to my inspiration, because for me inspiration creates motivation, which then creates determination. I've been inspired to skate, it's been a big help to have my twin sister, and she reminds me just to love skating and not worry about competition, or placements or anything just because I love the feeling of my blades on the ice and just that freedom. At the end of the day I have to look back to everything I have accomplished and everything I want to accomplish.

Are all the girls chosen for the Olympics team supportive or competitive?

I think for the games everybody is supportive because it's a dream that we all had. So the three ladies that were chosen, we actually bonded over it because we were the three that were selected to represent our country, the United States, and especially there were two of us on the team event. So we had to work together and skate our best to get a medal. Everybody wants to be the best skater and be the top competitor, but at the Olympics we just got even closer.

If you weren't skating what would you be doing?

I'd still be in school and I would definitely be thinking about colleges, which I am, but it's strictly about school. But I think I'm always going to play a sport. If it wasn't skating I think I would love to be a gymnast or a diver. Maybe something in the Summer Olympics. I'm not a fan of the cold weather ironically though I'm a skater.

How do the judges' scores affect you?

Well the judges' scores ultimately determine the placement, but sometimes they could be harsh, and sometimes you wish you had gotten a higher score or if you think you did a jump or a spin really well but the judges didn't think so, so sometimes it can hurt your feelings. But you just have to know that it can make you a better skater. And you just have to keep pushing. And sometimes when the judges do reward you and you get really high points, it's very inspiring because you know they recognize all the hard work and all of the good things you did.

Which jump is your favorite?

My triple Lutz-triple toe loop combination. That's definitely my big jump. It's the two triples in a row and it's something not a lot of women do, and it's kind of my specialty.

Do you ever bring something from home to make you feel better, like a good luck charm?

Yeah, absolutely. I have a couple of lucky necklaces and I have a lucky blanket. I have had this blanket since before I was born. My mom bought it for me when she first realized she was going to have my sister and I. I'm a twin sister. So my sister and I have matching blankets. And it has a bunny and little balloons and it's something I always bring with me.


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