(News Senior Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan is profiling U.S. athletes leading up to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, which begin Feb. 7).
Talk about having the perfect name for an Olympics! Gold, 18, burst into the spotlight and became the top U.S. hope for a gold medal in Sochi with a dazzling breakout performance at the national figure skating championships last month in Boston.
Gold set a personal record score of 211.69, blowing away the competition and distancing herself from two-time reigning U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, who stumbled to fourth place but was awarded one of the three spots on the U.S. team in a controversial decision.
Gold, a native of Newton, Mass., moved from Chicago to Los Angeles last year to work with coaching legend Frank Carroll. Gold developed a more mature skating style under Carroll, changed the music on her short program, and became more confident and elegant on the ice.
She has the wit and charisma to become the nation’s newest skating queen. Gold, who has a fraternal twin sister, appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno after winning the national title. She joked about her sudden fame and displayed her juggling talents.
“We’re not up to flamethrowers or knives yet, but we’re getting there,” Gold told Leno. “Fruit is good.”