US skater Gold being treated for eating disorder, will skip Grand Prix season

Olympic bronze medalist Gracie Gold confirmed she is being treated for an eating disorder, along with anxiety and depression, in announcing that she will miss the Grand Prix season.

The two-time national champion had said last month that she was taking time away from skating to seek professional help. Gold did not specify at the time what the treatment was for, but she has spoken openly in the past about her struggles with body issues.

“It saddens me deeply to sit out this Grand Prix Series, but I know it is for the best,” Gold said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “I am currently in treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I will not have adequate training time to prepare and compete at the level that I want to.”

Gold was scheduled to compete at the Cup of China and Trophee de France, both of which are in November. She did not say in the statement if she’ll compete at the national championships in January.

Gold was part of the U.S. squad that won bronze in the team competition at the Sochi Olympics, where she also finished fourth in the women’s event. But her career has been on a downward spiral since the 2016 world championships, when a dismal performance in the free skate dropped her from first to fourth.

She finished sixth at last year’s national championships and failed to make the world championships team for the first time in five years.

At the U.S. Olympic Committee’s media summit last month, close friends Ashley Wagnerand Adam Rippon both praised Gold for putting her health first despite it being an Olympic year.

“You are so much more than an athlete,” Rippon said then. “If we’re lucky, we can skate for 30-plus years. If we’re also very fortunate, we’ll live for 100 years. That’s such a small portion of your life. If you aren’t enjoying it and if you aren’t happy and you know that you’re not healthy, it’s not good. It’s not right.

“I so respect her,” Rippon added. “More than that, I admire her for being brave and sharing that with the world that she was going to be doing that.”

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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