: I’m standing at the boards with ladies silver medalist Gracie Gold.
[The audience claps loudly…]
: Crowd loves her. [I had to listen a few times because at first I heard it as, “God loves her,” but listening more closely, it sounds like Michael B simply said, “Crowd loves her,” and this might have been misheard by some listeners]
Rusty to Gracie
: You’re very popular in Omaha. Well done.
[Mentions her career accomplishments]
: This whole thing is pretty easy isn’t it? (tongue-in-cheek
: Definitely. (sarcastic
: I should really start skating.
I would love to stand on top of the podium.
: It’s a great feeling. (patiently
: I stand no chance of ever doing that. (self-deprecating
: Gracie is not impressed. That’s her McKayla Maroney face.
Look at her face right now… Gracie Gold is not impressed.
Michael B quickly adds
: But Rusty is doing a great job entertaining the crowd – shout out to Rusty.
Rusty to Gracie
What’s the biggest difference in competing as a junior and now as a senior?
: The biggest difference for me probably is the pressure and expectations of what people have for me. It was pretty challenging but I think I was able to overcome it.
: Ah, I’d say so. Gracie girl, the ice is yours.
Voice-over intro to audience by Mike Mancuso
: Here we have Gracie Gold, the U.S. Ladies silver medalist. [She] put up the highest ever ladies free skate score yesterday night.
Commentary during Gracie’s skate:
: Yeah, I mean really. She brought the house down for lack of a better expression.
[pause] This is the perfect song for her to be skating to right now. Absolutely perfect song.
: I’m really interested to watch her for the next few months because she’s really umm, I mean obviously she had a great skate here, but leading up to the Olympics it’s a very interesting timing… and she could really be [a player (?)] there.
: It’s so interesting the whole coverage of her in the last year has been... It’s so mixed. I feel like they beat her up one day, and then the next day she’s the golden child, and then if she makes a mistake, ‘Oh well we built her up too much.’ So it’s kinda strange to watch the coverage of her. Umm, I love her. Again I’ve been following her and I think she’s a great name and a great face, and [has] a great high skill level and personality that if she wins the Olympics, this is the type of girl who could entirely redeem the sport in the American public eye
… so I mean I’m hoping good things for her and I think the U.S. sending veteran Ashley and newcomer Gracie to Worlds this year is great. And so, I have really high hopes for Gracie. I think the fact that she had a mistake here and came back so perfectly bodes well for the rest of her career … on such a public stage like this to come back so strong. Yeah.
: She’s been very consistent the past two years. .. I don’t think the coverage of her has been as black and white…Maybe the expectation of her has just been so great… because she’s done pretty well … and at COR she had a silver.
: And she’s a first year senior, she’s a first year senior. But maybe they’re all ready for her to win and she’s ready to win. That’s the thing. You can feel it. And the nice thing about all the girls is they all want to win. For some years you got a lot of girls who were [saying] ‘I’m happy to be here,’ and ‘I just want to do my best.’ The three top ladies this year want to win. And it’s clear in their persona and in their skating. So as a U.S. figure skating fan, it’s nice to see these three girls skating so aggressively and hungry to win a National title.
: And I think the girls are also a little older now. Because at 17, [Gracie’s] not considered older, she’s considered the young one.
: I agree.
Gracie finishes her exhibition skate… applause from the crowd
: [There’s] a cheer. Yay.
Mike Mancuso voice-over to audience
: Gracie Gold … another spectacular performance.
: Okay Sarah, how’s [Gracie] gonna do at Worlds? I’m putting you on the spot. Where do you think she’ll place? Top five? Top six?
: Based on her long program here she’ll have a great showing. I just hope she’ll do well in the short because that sets you up. Especially on the international stage, it really helps to have a good short program.
: My advice is before the short program, pretend it’s the long program… really mentally don’t think of it as the short program
… And its hard for all of them so [Gracie] has to find a way to trick herself
into just doing it.