Rachel Parsons: "I’ve decided to take a step back from skating"

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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She posted this message on IG today (on her Twitter as well): https://www.instagram.com/p/BvxcTRanrp4/
Excerpt:
... I’ve decided to take a step back from skating. It’s the most difficult choice I’ve ever had to make, but I have to focus on my health and happiness. I feel like people (including myself) often gloss over their problems to create this image of “perfection”, especially online, but it’s really important for me to be honest and open with you all about this. I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder for years now, and it’s not something I can keep ignoring or trying to manage on my own.
...
I’m not sure what this new chapter of my life will bring, but I’m excited about the future. I’ll continue to cheer Michael on as he continues on this incredible journey for the both of us, I’ll just be rooting for him from the stands.
All the very best to Rachel :respec: and to Michael as well.

ETA one of my favorite performances (2017 Junior Worlds winning free dance) of theirs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFr1H-_AAFUTheir
 
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clairecloutier

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So sorry that Rachel is dealing with an eating disorder. I enjoyed watching her and Michael a lot over the last few years. They had many memorable programs together and such wonderful skating skills. And they achieved a lot--a Junior World championship, and quite a few international medals as seniors, too. My thoughts are with her, and I hope she will be happy away from skating.
 

Catherine M

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All the best to Rachel as she begins to heal and starts the road to getting healthier and leading a life away from competitive skating.
 

HeatherC

Proud fan of K&O and Team SW Florida! =)
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That had to be a tough decision but good for her at recognizing that her health must come first. I've met the Parsons a few times at various events over the last few years and they were always so friendly, funny, and personable. Wishing her and Michael all the best in the next steps of their respective journeys. :respec:
 

wickedwitch

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I saw Rachel skate as a pre-Juv. It's amazing to see how far she's come. Best of luck to her and Michael in the future in whatever they do.
 

Garden Kitty

Tranquillo
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I am sorry to see her step away from skating, but so proud of her for taking the actions necessary for her health and well being. And I'm also happy that she's able to discuss this openly since it may help other people dealing with the same issue to know they are not alone.
 

Doggygirl

Going through FS withdrawal after GPF
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I'm so sorry that Rachel is struggling with an ED, but happy that she feels safe enough to be open about it, and to seek help. I wonder if Gracie's willingness to bring her struggles out into the open helped Rachel. In any case, good for Rachel putting her health and well being first.

Rachel seems to indicate that Michael will continue on in skating. I assume this means he might be looking for a new partner? Can anyone else confirm that?
 

Wyliefan

Trying to appease the skategods
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Oh, I'm so sorry she has to deal with this. :( My prayers and best wishes.
 

Lanie

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Oh, I'm sorry to hear this. I really hope she can take care of herself and get healthy again. Poor Rachel.

I'm glad skaters are being more open about their struggles because by being open perhaps it can combat these things that we all know are endemic in the sport.
 

Firedancer

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I’m so sorry that Rachel is struggling with this. But I am happy she is putting her health first and getting the help she needs. Best wishes to Rachel and Michael in the future.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Holy Moly. This one was a shocker.

SO SORRY to hear she has/is been going through this.

Wow.. The Junior World Champions... I was SO EXCITED to watch them, M&C and C&P battle for the next 8 years... ugggg..

They will be SO MISSED!!!
 

Zemgirl

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It's sad to think that Rachel has been dealing with this for so many years on her own. Good for her for being able to make the best choice for herself, and good for skating to have people like her and like Gracie Gold be honest about the challenges that they face. It's much more inspiring and important than (seeming) perfection.

Good luck to Rachel and Michael in their next steps :)
 

overedge

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I hope her honesty is helpful to others, skaters or not, and I admire her strength in putting her health first. I hope to see her skating again if that's what she decides to do, but if she decides to take her life in another direction, I wish her all the best in wherever she goes.
 

AxelAnnie

Graceful men lift lovely girls in white!
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It's sad to think that Rachel has been dealing with this for so many years on her own. Good for her for being able to make the best choice for herself, and good for skating to have people like her and like Gracie Gold be honest about the challenges that they face. It's much more inspiring and important than (seeming) perfection.

Good luck to Rachel and Michael in their next steps :)
She may not ..hopefully..have been dealing with this on her own... she may have just come to the conclusion that she could not get fully well while in the environment of skating. They were lovely.
 

ana

New Member
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I'm so sad, but i'm also glad that she put her health first. I wish her well and good recovery.
 

starrynight

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Glad that Rachel has made a choice that is in her best interests. Hopefully she will find that stepping away from competitive skating removes the trigger points for her struggles.

Ice dance really is a very difficult discipline in that it is such a marathon compared to say the sprint of ladies singles. Everything just takes years and years in ice dance and the prospects of battling away at it for such a long time for the chance of success must be a hard ask. The transition from juniors to seniors is a long road.
 
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maureenfarone

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So sorry to hear about this. I've enjoyed watching them over the last few seasons. Wishing them both all the best as they go forward on their journey.
 

Spiralgraph

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I wish recovery and good health for Rachel. Figure skating is such a demanding sport in many ways, I'm glad she decided her health comes first before her skating career.
 

PRlady

Nerdy flack
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I watched the FD from JW and not for the first time noticed that Michael is not a very big guy. That probably increased pressure on Rachel to stay as small as posssible, and as she has a healthy build, that probably wasn’t easy. :(

I’m glad she’s choosing her health as the priority. Meanwhile, Madi Hubbell is the reminder that half of a former sibling team can succeed with a new partner, so good luck to Michael as well.
 

clairecloutier

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I watched the FD from JW and not for the first time noticed that Michael is not a very big guy. That probably increased pressure on Rachel to stay as small as posssible, and as she has a healthy build, that probably wasn’t easy. :(

I feel like this must have been really hard on their whole family. :(
 

Lara111

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I watched the FD from JW and not for the first time noticed that Michael is not a very big guy. That probably increased pressure on Rachel to stay as small as posssible, and as she has a healthy build, that probably wasn’t easy. :(

I’m glad she’s choosing her health as the priority. Meanwhile, Madi Hubbell is the reminder that half of a former sibling team can succeed with a new partner, so good luck to Michael as well.
If you are trying to guess where the pressure was coming from - it is a wrong guess.
 

Eislauffan

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Sad news indeed. I feel very sorry that Rachel has an eating disorder and I hope she will get healthy soon. Good for her to come out and talk about it openly, this hopefully will help others that have the same struggles. And I hope it will also show these people that make mean comments in the media, internet etc. about skaters' appearances, weight etc what their thoughtless comments can lead to. But I might ask for too much. :-(
 

VGThuy

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I'm glad Rachel feels empowered to speak about her struggles and is sharing her story with others because it may help. I'm sad that she had to go through this in the first place. The Parsons were my favorite up-and-coming U.S. ice dance team, and I wish them both the best in their future endeavors. I do hope that Rachel comes out of this experiences stronger, and if she feels up to it, to speak to other skaters and young people about her struggles. I think she'll have a lot of insight to provide to help. We know high pressure situations and culture like sport can trigger a lot of this.
 

PRlady

Nerdy flack
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If you are trying to guess where the pressure was coming from - it is a wrong guess.
I wasnt actually: I know nothing about them personally. I just think that women in general are even more size-conscious when their partners are smaller, including life partners. I wasn’t hinting that he was the source of the pressure.
 

mtnskater

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I'm heartbroken that one of my favorite ice dance teams is no more. Eating disorders have taken too many talented skaters from the sport. I'm still not over the loss to the ice dance world of Jamie Silverstein :( Gracie is also a favorite of mine. Rachel has displayed much courage to come forward and publicly acknowledge she needs to step back to recover. Hugs and best wishes to Rachel and Michael as they move forward with their lives from here.
 

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