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Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold withdraws from 2018 U.S. championships

The two-time U.S. figure skating champion won't compete in the 2018 U.S. championships for a very important reason.
/ Source: TODAY

Two-time U.S. figure skating champion Gracie Gold shared an update Friday night regarding her 2018 competition plans.

"It breaks my heart to withdraw from the 2018 U.S. Championships,” Gold said in a statement to NBC News. “I am still undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I have not had adequate training time in order to perform at the level at which I want to.”

Just last month the Olympic athlete revealed her ongoing psychological struggles after breaking from her strenuous training program in September.

Back in September, Gold ambiguously announced she would be “taking some time off” from her sport to “seek some professional help.” In October, Gold shared publicly her struggles with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder when she abstained from the Grand Prix Series.Joosep Martinson - ISU / ISU via Getty Images

“It pains me to not compete in this Olympic season, but I know it's for the best,” Gold said. “I wish everyone the best of luck and will be cheering you all on. I want to thank everyone for the ongoing love and support. It means the world to me."

Gold’s mental health began to take a toll on her performances when she finished in sixth place at the national championships last year and failed to qualify for the world championships for the first time in 5 years.

Before revealing her own personal history, Gold sat down with TODAY Style in July to talk about maintaining body confidence in a largely subjective, beauty-centered sport.

"Definitely athletes in the spotlight — figure skaters, especially — are under pressure to fit a certain mold, and fit a certain body type," said Gold, who lives in Canton, Michigan.

"A lot of us struggle with (weight issues)," Gold told TODAY of competitive skaters 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."Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

"It can be a lot, the perfect, airbrushed models and the Hadids and the Jenners," 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."

The figure skating community, body confidence advocates and Gold’s friends, fans and family all support the athlete’s decision.

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