HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Gracie Gold won her second bronze medal of the season in as many competitions Sunday at 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America. She finished with 179.38 points, behind Russians Elena Radionova (195.47) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (189.62).
Gold’s bronze marked the fifth medal for Team USA at Skate America. She was joined on the podium by Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, who earned gold and silver in ice dance; Haven Denney and Brandon Frazier, silver in pairs; and Jason Brown, silver in men’s. U.S. figure skaters medaled in all four disciplines at this year’s event, a feat which has not happened since 2006.
Last month, Gold finished third at Nebelhorn Trophy (part of the ISU Challenger Series), also behind two Russians, Tuktamysheva and Alena Leonova.
Gold is hoping to turn the tide and find a way to beat her Russian counterparts.
“It’s really more motivating (than intimidating),” Gold said. “I’m much older than they are, at 19, and I remember when you’re younger consistency is always easier. When I was 14 or 15 doing all my triples like that was consistent, but it does get harder as you get older, but it just motivates me to be more consistent.”
The 2014 Olympian has two previous seasons as a senior under her belt and they both show that she typically becomes more consistent as the season progresses. Her first senior season ended in the U.S. silver medal and fifth place at worlds. Last season, she won the U.S. title and finished fourth at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“I already have a jump-start on the season, so I’m looking forward to success at NHK Trophy and I’m going to be stronger when the world championships come around.”
Gold says competing in her first Olympics gave her a new confidence to use moving forward. In addition to fourth in the ladies event, Gold finished second among the women who competed in the free skate portion of the team event, helping Team USA to its bronze medal.
“I definitely know that I’m good enough to be in the top and that if I really go out there and I take it and I skate how I train, then I’m meant to be in the top,” Gold said. “I had some pretty severe errors today and I’m still in third place.”
Samantha Cesario matched her short program performance from the previous day and finished the competition fourth with 174.58 points.
“It is definitely a good start for the season and I’m happy with it overall,” Cesario said.
2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu made a major improvement over her short program, which placed her 11th Saturday, and landed in sixth after the free skate.
“Obviously this was a better skate than yesterday,” said Nagasu, who earned a total of 158.21. “This was a very stressful week because I was expecting so much more out of myself, especially in the short program.”