February 07, 2014 05:55 PM

Koki Nagahama/Getty

Almost any elite athlete has a superstition or good luck charm that they rely on before a big competition. Figure skater Gracie Gold, 18, is no different, and judging by her consistent top finishes at nationals, hers is definitely working. And it’s something that she keeps close to her heart — literally.

“I always wear my evil eye necklace to ward off bad karma. I always wear one to protect me,” she tells PEOPLE (you can see it at left). “When I first started working with a ballet teacher, she gave me one before my first national championships. It worked really well: I ended up on the podium!”

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Though she’s a noted perfectionist, one of her ultimate goals at the Sochi Olympic games (aside from taking home a medal, of course) is to just relax and have a good time on and off the ice. “My coach said really enjoy the games, really take in every minute and do not try to worry about the competition and the medals,” she said. “It’s definitely easier saying it than doing it. But I’ll definitely have tons of fun.”

What do you think of Gold’s lucky charm? Do you have any superstitions or lucky jewelry? Are you excited to see Gold skate?

–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Mike Fleeman

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