Gracie Gold Figure Skater, Gracie Gold, with a name made for an Olympian, looked like one at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Still to be decided is who joins her at the Sochi Games after two-time defending champ Ashley Wagner tumbled to the ice twice in her free skate to finish a distant fourth.
Gold won her first title in a runaway Saturday night, but there was plenty of intrigue behind her in the standings. Fifteen-year-old Polina Edmunds was second, and 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu third in a resurgent performance.
U.S. Figure Skating officials will announce Sunday which three women go to the Winter Games, taking into account past performances. They will have a lot to think about.
Gold is the only no-brainer.
She wasn’t perfect Saturday, but she didn’t need to be after building a big lead in the short program. She finished with 211.69 points to beat Edmunds by more than 18.
“The nerves are something I’ve battled with and have let get in my head, but tonight I was strangely calm,” she said.
Skating last, the 18-year-old Gold realized what she had accomplished before she even completed her program. After landing her last double axel, she pumped both fists.
“I knew that was it,” she said.
Gold was second behind Wagner in 2013, and with another year’s seasoning, she now connects with her music along with just nailing the jumps.
Edmunds was competing at senior nationals for the first time after winning the junior title last year. U.S. officials were trying to confirm that she was eligible for the Olympics under the governing body’s rules because she hadn’t competed at a sanctioned international senior event.