Skater Gracie Gold Won't Compete in Olympics as She Continues Treatment for Mental Health Issues
Olympic figure skater Gracie Gold is taking a break from skating to focus on her mental health
Figure skater Gracie Gold will miss out on the 2018 Winter Olympics.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, Gold, a two-time US ladies figure skating champion and 2014 Olympic team bronze medalist, said she was focusing on getting better before skating on the ice.
“It breaks my heart to withdraw from the 2018 U.S. Championships,” she said. “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,” the statement continued. “It pains me not to compete in this Olympic season, but I know it’s for the best. 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.”
In October, Gold told PEOPLE that she was withdrawing from her scheduled competitions in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating this month.
In September, Gold announced she would be “taking some time off” from her sport to “seek some professional help.”
“My passion for skating and training remains strong,” Gold said at the time. “However, after recent struggles on and off the ice, I realize I need to seek some professional help and will be taking some time off while preparing for my Grand Prix assignments.”
“This time will help me become a stronger person,” she continued, “which I believe will be reflected in my skating performances as well.”
There are three spots open on the U.S. figure skating team for the women’s event at the 2018 Winter Games. Those competitors will be chosen only a few weeks before the Games get underway, after the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships end in January: A committee will select the athletes based on their performances from the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships through the U.S. championships.
Previously asked about returning for the Winter Games in 2018, Gold struck an optimistic tone, saying in 2014, “I definitely have two Olympics in me; I don’t know about three Olympics.”
• Reporting by JOHNNY DODD