We were privileged to have the chance to speak with Gracie Gold, two-time and current national figure skating champion and Olympic bronze medalist, while attending the première of Stars on Ice’s #E-motion 2016 tour in Hershey, PA. (For tickets and more information about the tour, click here.) In addition to both of us being Gracie fans, our son Baby G is now obsessed with her screaming to watch “Go Gol” skate. We had a great time talking to Gracie and finding out that’s she’s just as sweet as she is beautiful and talented. Check out the fun we had discussing everything from skating to juice and pancakes. (NOTE: This interview was recorded before the Team Challenge Cup.)
Kari: Hi Gracie. Okay, we’re going to do a lot of fun questions because when I read an interview that’s what I want to know. The really important stuff like do you like orange juice, do you not like orange juice?
Gracie Gold: I actually don’t like any kind of juice. But if I had to pick, I love in hotels especially growing up in the Midwest we would go to Best Westerns and Hampton Inns and you had the drink machines. We always mixed orange juice with the cranberry cocktail. I love it when it’s 27% juice. That’s the kind of orange juice I like.
Kari: Gracie, tell us about what are you most excited about Stars on Ice this year?
Gracie Gold: It’s a little short. I wish that it was longer
Baby G: Uh!
Gracie Gold: I know!
It’s a great way to interact and actually meet the fans, the people. [Between] watching a sporting event and watching an ice show. I would say these are more the die-hard fans that follow up on the season. I love the meet and greets after. I’m a people person so just kind getting to hear everyone’s story and why they’re in Hershey on a Friday to watch us skate is pretty cool.
Kari: Even if they’re like a toddler that keeps wanting to dance? He runs to the television and bangs on the screen every time you’re on. He loves skating.
Stars on Ice has a very decorated history. Who’s some of your favorite Stars heroes?
Gracie Gold: Scott Hamilton and Kristi Yamaguchi are iconic stars members that every performance from traditional skating to weird stuff to clowns to everything in between. It was always so audience forward and it was always on point. I always try when I’m at a show, I love it when any performer, you know you really give it your all. You can’t be like I was at world’s last week and I’m tired and skating bad. Instead it’s I want to perform for you guys. They always looked so well prepared. It was so audience forward that being in the audience watching them, like I could connect and I could know them, these heroes.
Kari: Did you go to see Stars on Ice as a kid?
Gracie Gold: I did. I saw when it toured though Kansas City in 2006.
Kari: That’s fun. You had a really awesome season, especially at the nationals and we were like on our feet cheering in our living room like “Gracie!” So it was awesome. You were amazing. What was your favorite moment from the season?
Gracie Gold: There were a lot of really good memories, but by far it would have to be the nationals long program. Nothing could possibly top that.
Kari: Definitely. You’ve rewritten “Firebird” for me because I used to train as a ballerina dancer so it was always Maria Tallchief that I go to in my mind and now it will be you.
Gracie: Awww. Thank you.
Kari: I’m serious when I put on “Firebird” now it’s Gracie Gold that’s unseated Maria Tallchief after twenty something years of having her in my brain.
What inspired you to get into skating and how long have you been skating?
Gracie Gold: I’ve been skating…I guess I forgot the year. Thirteen years. I went to a birthday party at the ice rink and essentially the rest is history, but there were freestylers on the ice doing a public skate in the middle with their skirts and their ponytails, and all the friends. At that time in my life I was in heavily male sports. I did soccer and I did track. I hung with the boys in school and I was a tomboy. It was a guy’s party and they were all hockey players, but figure skates are easier to skate in at first because of the toe pick and the heels. I saw girls doing girly things, and had friends that were girls…So I put myself in “Learn to Skate” after swimming…so then from there is just snowballs to here.
Kari: And look at you now! You probably have a lot of skating goals, like the Olympics, what’s one non-skating goal that you have? Like a hobby, or a language you want to learn, a non-skating goal that you have for yourself?
Gracie Gold: I have plenty of non-skating goals for myself. I’d love to get a degree in something. Part of me was always… I don’t want to feel trapped by skating in a sense, but I guess it was always… especially when I was younger… you always get some flack for, I mean any high athlete, oh you’re putting all your chips into a sport, that’s an interesting choice. When in fact, you only live once so, I can always go back to school. That’s something that definitely means a lot to me would be getting a degree. I’d love something in broadcasting, event management, even a minor in business.
RJ: If you’ve managed to have the dedication to stick to your sport this long, you’ll be fine.
Gracie Gold: I guess it makes me nervous for some reason, thinking about that. Like, the life. For some reason, it feels imminent. I really want to check that off my list too, after another Olympics. But learning a language would be something I’d love to do. I’d love to take professional cooking classes. Not like culinary school, I’m not that intense, but something… I love cooking and I love baking, but something I just wouldn’t know. I was YouTubing how to dice an onion because you’re reading a recipe or reading a cookbook and it says, “Dice an onion.” Wait, how do I actually do that? What are the tricks? Slicing it, always leaving the root top, slicing it this way is how you get them really small, that kind of thing.
Kari: You’ve had so many beautiful programs. We would watch your “Sleeping Beauty” program, and I was pregnant then, we’d just found out I was pregnant and I would just cry that it was the most beautiful program in the whole world.
Gracie Gold: If it’s a girl, we’re naming it Aurora
Kari: We were seriously going to name him Gracie if he was a girl.
Gracie: I never hear baby’s names. I always hear dogs. People say “My dog’s named Gracie” or cat. I get cats a lot.
Kari: Now you have to hope that next time we get a girl so that way… I thought that Gracie Elizabeth would be the perfect name for a girl. Your parents did a good job with your name.
Gracie Gold: The only time it’s been a problem is when it’s written down by US Figure Skating as Gracie Gold and your passport says Grace E Gold.
Kari: We usually do some quick crazy questions.
Gracie Gold: Okay, I’m ready!
Kari: Hunger Games or Divergent?
Gracie Gold: Hunger Games.
Kari: Good girl. Waffles or Pancakes?
Gracie Gold: We had a long conversation in the skating lounge about this because the trendiness of waffles and you can waffle everything. But just being able to waffle everything doesn’t count as a waffle.
Gracie Gold: And if you’ve gone to… pancakes are really big in Tokyo and Japan right now. If you’ve ever had the most beautiful stack of pancakes in a Tokyo pancake house, like downtown Tokyo, you will pick pancakes like I did, every time. Also late night IHOP.
RJ: Oh yeah!
Gracie Gold: You can get every flavor, and with waffles, it’s so generic, you put them in a maker, but with the pancakes, it’s the real chef. That’s the chef’s pancake.
RJ: And you have the Amsterdam pancakes too.
Gracie Gold: Pancakes.
Kari: What’s your favorite snack?
Gracie Gold: Healthy or nonhealthy?
Gracie Gold: So my favorite healthy snack would be, I have a sweet tooth like no other so definitely would be yogurt. They come in all flavors. You have quark to Greek yogurt, Yoplait to light. And they’re readily available which makes me really like it, because I can indulge all the time.
Kari: Right, and it’s easy to find when your out. I hate travelling and trying to find something and they don’t have it.
Gracie Gold: My favorite maybe more splurgy snack would be peanut butter and honey, mixed together is classic.
RJ: Peanut butter and honey is your splurge snack?!
Gracie Gold: Yeah, peanut butter and honey. I sometimes just eat it plain at this point; I like the spoon as my vessel.
Kari: Okay, we have 3 questions we ask everyone we interview.
RJ: If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
Gracie Gold: Wonder Woman.
Gracie Gold: She’s the original female empowerment. She’s red, blue, and gold. She has honestly the most amazing high-waisted outfit and crown. I like that it’s not a crown that sits on her forehead, and she has female power without being masculine or over the top. She always lets Superman take what she can’t handle without being Amazonian or over the top feminist in your face.
Kari: She’s a good balance.
Gracie Gold: She’s strong and feminine. From like a long time ago
Kari: They modeled her outfit after a circus outfit…
Gracie Gold: And she’s got those wrists.
Kari: So my question is you’ve got five minutes in the car to get somewhere, what’s your get pumped song that your listening to right now?
Gracie Gold: Like right now? Like I have someplace to be…Well I always go to Chainsmokers’ “Roses.” Yeah.
Kari: We have a little guy here who’s very active. He loves figure skating. So if you had advice for us about being a skater, or being skater parents, what would it be?
RJ: Or just life.
Gracie Gold: For skating, slow and steady will win the race in figure skating. It seems like everybody is always rushing to get everything as fast as you can. My kid got an axel when they were six or my kid got an axel when they were ten, I got it at twelve. Adam and I didn’t start skating until we were eight and then ten. That’s great you got it at five, because I didn’t start skating until I was ten, so…
Kari: And you’re doing pretty good…
Gracie: So slow and steady. I put myself in skating so I never…my parents had a different role in the beginning. I just see it a lot, I think we all do, when the parent wants the ice skating dream and it’s the stereotype. Most parent you meet in figure skating are totally normal, but you see it sometimes in any sport where the parent wants it, but you see the kid on the ice and they’re miserable. It’s hard to work hard at something if you don’t like it.
Kari: Definitely. I did theater. I did dance. You knew the difference between the kids that were happy and jazzed to be at rehearsal and the ones that the parents were like “you better get a part next year! You better not be in the ensemble!”
Gracie Gold: I told my mom, “Mom, I don’t like piano. It’s not for me. I never see myself sitting down at the keys being inspired, like you see, not just the greats, just anybody who likes it. It’s just not something I would turn to. It is a problem and I’d like to quit.” And she said, “Okay, that’s good. Now we can do something else on Wednesday, Thursday nights.”
Kari: That’s good. Your mom is one of my heroes. She seems like an awesome mom. Everything I’ve ever heard about her is, the way you and Carly talk about her, is awesome.
Gracie Gold: She’s pretty awesome.
Kari: What are you doing next? You’ve got the Team Challenge coming up. (This interview was recorded last week before that event)
Gracie Gold: Team Challenge Cup, and then I’ve got a lot of other things in the works right now that will be coming out the end of this month and then June and July we have some fun off ice stuff we’re working on. So, it’s just full steam ahead.
Kari: We’ll have to keep up with you on social media and see what’s going on.
Gracie Gold: Follow my Instagram. Follow my Twitter. Follow my twin sister. She’ll sometimes post things before me because she has social media savvy, way better than I am, but check it all out.
Our thanks to Gracie Gold for being so gracious and so much fun. We can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!
(All images belong to The He Said She Said Experience and may not be used without permission.)