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Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold shared with fans the reason why she won’t be appearing in this year’s Winter Olympics.
“It saddens me deeply to sit out this Grand Prix Series, but I know it is for the best,” Gold said in a statement to NBC News Friday. “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.”
The two-time U.S. champion shared last month that she would be seeking professional help in place of her rigorous skating regimen. On Friday, she revealed more specifically the type of care her body and mind need most.
Her internal struggles began to take a toll on her performances when she finished sixth at the national championships last year and failed to qualify for the world championships for the first time in five years.
Gold, 22, spoke openly to TODAY this summer on the subject of body confidence in a largely subjective, beauty-centered sport.
“A lot of us struggle with (weight issues)," she told TODAY Style in July. "And maybe it's a bit closeted — I don't want to speak for all figure skaters. But I don't blame the sport for it. I think that we all have to take responsibility for ourselves. That's the game I got into, and it comes with the territory."
Gold still maintains that the sport she loves cannot be blamed for her personal struggles. She even praised her coaches in her most recent statement.
“I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating, my fans and my sponsors for their ongoing support. I also want to thank Marina (Zoueva) and Oleg (Epstein) for standing beside me through this journey and most of all my family for their unconditional love,” Gold wrote.
At the U.S. Olympic Committee’s media summit last month, close friends and fellow skaters Ashley Wagner and Adam Rippon also shared love and support for Gold taking time away.
“You are so much more than an athlete,” Rippon said at the conference. “I admire her for being brave and sharing that with the world that she was going to be doing that.”