Gracie Gold was on her way to receiving the gold medal at the Trophée Eric Bompard on Nov. 13, 2015. Gracie had captured the silver at Skate America and the Trophée Bompard served as the qualifier for the Grand Prix Final. She was in first place after the short program and ready to win another Grand Prix medal when everything came to a screeching halt due to the terrorist attacks on Paris.
The ladies were scheduled to have an early morning practice, so Gold and her teammates were asleep when they began receiving phone calls from their loved ones checking in to see if they were alright. They turned on the news and discovered what had happened. “It was shocking for all of us,” Gracie said during a USFS media call on Dec. 2. “Bordeaux is several hours away, but I don’t think it mattered where you were in the world. I think that we all felt the horror of that night.”
Gracie Gold was grateful that she did not have to decide what was to happen to the competition as she knew it would be a tough call made by many different organizations and with several factors involved. In the end, the free skate was cancelled. She was disappointed that she did not get a chance to perform her free skate, yet realized the magnitude of what had transpired and knew that it would be petty for her to be upset over a competition. “Selfishly I wanted to finish what I started,” Gold confessed. “I really wanted to complete the competition and I was leading by quite a lot in the short program and I really wanted to solidify my place in the Final…thinking about the lives lost and I was upset that I didn’t get to do a long program seemed ridiculous and selfish. It was a lot of mixed emotions. I’m glad that I have a chance to do another short and long program together in Barcelona.”
The Trophée Bompard was the first-ever Grand Prix event that has been cancelled in the history of the Grand Prix circuit and the ISU (International Skating Union) determined that the short program results would essentially become the main qualifying factor for the Final. The Grand Prix Final is the most prestigious annual international figure skating competition other than the world championships. Gracie is not sure if she will receive a medal from the Trophée Bompard, but was told that the prize money would still be awarded to her as she was considered the gold medal winner.
With the unsettling Trophée Bompard event behind her, Gracie now sets her sights on the Grand Prix Final. Gold qualified for the Final last season, but had to withdraw due to injury, so this season she is excited to visit Spain and finally have her shot at her first Grand Prix Final. “It was really sad, really heartbreaking not to be able to go last year,” Gold said. “I feel like I have a second chance so I really want to lay down some dynamic performances.”
When it comes to goals for the Final, Gracie is clear that her main focus is giving clean performances. “I would like to do my short program just as well as I did it in Bordeaux if not with even more excitement, and I would like to do a clean ‘Firebird’,” Gold said. “I think that it is one of the best programs I have ever had.”
Gracie has yet to receive a medal from the Trophee Bompard, and her Skate America medal was made of glass and broken accidentally by a fan taking a photograph, so she is now hoping to receive a medal at the Grand Prix Final. “I have my eye on a world medal and my ultimate goal would be winning worlds,” Gold said. “I think that I’m in the top of the group. I’ve been skating really well this week and it will be a really exciting event.”