American figure skater Gracie Gold has had a few set-backs on her run to the Nationals this year due to a pesky hairline fracture in her foot. But not to worry: her performance still earned her the attention (and friendship) of mega-star Taylor Swift, so all is not lost for the 19-year-old athlete.
Things were going great for Gracie until she discovered her foot injury and was forced to withdraw from the Grand Prix final back in December. While recovering from her injury, Gracie had to steer clear of practicing her triple jumps (an increasingly crucial element of women’s figure skating and a piece of the puzzle she’ll need to beat rival and national champion Ashley Wagner.) But, she says, this turned out to be a positive thing, forcing her to work on other elements of the sport, including transitions, spins, speed and artistic flow.
Plus, she scored a new bestie—Taylor Swift! Apparently, Taylor started following Gracie on twitter after seeing her perform and, over time, the two exchanged messages, phone numbers and, eventually, became traveling buds who explored Catalina together!
So, as Gracie reveals that she is “physically stronger” heading into nationals because “I’ve had a lot of time to work out since I wasn’t skating,” she reveals what this Houston podiatrist has always known to be true: taking time off after an injury is never a bad idea and, with under the supervision of an expert like Dr. Andrew Schneider, the period of healing can even turn you into a stronger competitor once you’re ready to return to your sport!