November 18, 2017
Figure Skater Gracie Gold Announces Her Withdrawal From The 2018 Olympics

Gracie Gold is a favorite in figure skating, having proven her talent in U.S. ladies figure skating competitions on multiple occasions. The athlete's fans won't get to see her compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics as expected, however. The figure skater announced she has dropped out of competing in the games to focus on her mental health more fully. Gold candidly revealed that she suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as facing the challenge of struggling with an eating disorder.

Gracie Gold Announces Her Decision in a Public Statement

As People shares, Gracie has been successful as a figure skater in the past, winning two U.S. ladies figure skating championships and taking home the bronze medal in the 2014 Olympics. The pressure of competing and staying in top condition has taken its toll on Ms. Gold, however, and she's now revealing that she may have pushed herself too hard. As a result, the champion figure skater is dropping out of the 2018 Winter Olympics to rehabilitate her mental state.

"It breaks my heart to withdraw from the 2018 U.S. Championships," said Ms. Gold.

"I am still undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder."
Gracie reveals that her personal challenges have affected her ability to train for the upcoming Olympic games and says she doesn't want to skate in her present condition. She believes her performance would be below her usual standard. In the statement, Ms. Gold added that she will be watching the Olympic games and will be cheering everyone on, knowing that her withdrawal is for the best.

Gracie also thanked her fans and followers for the support, love, and encouragement they have offered, as she struggled to meet the challenges of her mental illness.

Gracie Gold Has Had a Long, Uphill Battle Against Depression, Anxiety, and Her Eating Disorder

Gracie's fight against her mental illnesses is not new. As Today points out, the Olympic figure skating champion has been facing her demons for over a year now with her problems coming to a head in September. Gold came in at sixth place at the national championships last year. She failed to qualify for the world championships for the first time in the past five years, as well.

Even before Gold's mental condition was made public, the internationally recognized figure skater hinted that she was having trouble adjusting to the pressures of competition. In a previous Today interview, Ms. Gold said the pressure of public expectations takes its toll on the psyche of all athletes. She says the expectation that she should maintain a specific physique standard adds to the pressure of competing in the spotlight.

"It can be a lot, the perfect, airbrushed models and the Hadids and the Jenners," Gracie Gold said. "But I think you just have to let it go. You just have to be the best you. I just look at myself and try to be better. The more you look at other people, the more unhappy you'll be."

[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]