SOCHI, Russia – Gracie Gold put herself in medal contention with a fighting short program performance on Wednesday, after shrugging off the distraction of her coach Frank Carroll suffering a huge noseblood just before she competed.
Gold scored 68.63 at the Iceberg Skating Palace, landing several jumps that she feared may end in falls, giving herself a shot at the podium on Thursday.
If she appeared tight, it would be understandable. During preparation for her program, Carroll disappeared to receive treatment on his severely bleeding nose. He returned just in time to give Gold final instructions before she took to the ice.
“Frank wasn’t there for 30 minutes of my warm-up because he had the most horrible nosebleed that I have ever seen,” Gold said. “We were in the lounge and then he disappeared. They had to replace the tissue three different times and they were asking if he should get it cauterized.
“He wasn't worried what it was going to look like but he didn’t want it to be distracting, especially for me," Gold said. "He didn’t want NBC following him with a bloody nose. He wanted the attention to be on me. Fortunately my dress is red, but [I told him], stand over there."
Despite the distraction, Gold sits in fourth, behind behind defending champion Yuna Kim, Russia's Adelina Sotnikova and Italian Carolina Kostner.
The 18-year-old won the U.S. Nationals in Boston last month but international competition is a different level altogether. While Gold's performance was nowhere near as free-flowing as the extraordinary Kim, who was nearly flawless in her performance, she remains in medal contention.
"When I was in the air on some of those jumps I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, what is this – this is not a good feeling.' " she said. "I knew I had to fight. I have come too far not to land this stupid jump. I have not come this far to mess up. I am landing it with a smile on my face."
She did. If she does it a few more times on Thursday, an unexpected medal may beckon.
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