Snowflake Tribune

"Every Story is Unique"

The staff of the Snowflake Tribune has decided to act as the Olympic Press for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Figure Skating will be the focus for this year's season. Figure Skating is a form of dancing performed with ice skates on an ice rink. Our featured history piece for this section will be where the Olympics first started. Our featured US Olympic athlete will be Gracie Gold.

The Winter Olympics

History

Five years after the Olympics began, Sweden organized a winter competition. It was called the Nordic Games because only Scandinavian countries were involved. It was held every four years, but, unlike the Olympics, was always held in the same place every time.


When the International Olympic Committee proposed a winter competition for 1912, Sweden declined trying to keep their Nordic Games. In 1916, Germany's planned Winter Olympics and Berlin Summer Olympics were both cancelled due to WWI.


Ice hockey was added as an Olympic event in 1920 in Belgium. Canada took many of the first medals for this event. Not too long after this the International Olympic Committee finally reached an agreement with the Scandinavians about holding an International Winter Sports Week.


Because of the popularity of the Winter Games, the next go around was in Chamonix. By the time it was held in Switzerland, the games were called the Winter Olympics. So, Chamonix was technically first and St. Moritz was the second with the title of Winter Olympics.


http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-winter-olympics
This article gives some information on scoring and final rankings of Figure Skating in the 1924 Winter Olympics.
The following link has a list of the past locations of both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
This link also has the past locations of the Olympics, but in a photo format instead of just a list.
Click the link below to see a video from the Chamonix Olympics in 1924. It shows short clips of each sport being performed.
The video below gives a look into the years, locations, and sports of the Winter Olympics from 1924 to 1968.
Olympic Winter Games (1924 - 1968)
Just a little look into figure skating at the First Olympics. They had a pond in Chamonix, unlike the big ice rinks that are commonly used today.
1924 Winter Olympics - Figure Skating Sonja Henie and Gillis Grafstrom

Figure Skating

The ice rinks for figure skaters are carefully made. The process takes hours to complete. There are between eleven and thirteen layers of ice. The first two are only 1/32nd of an inch think, the third is 1/16th of an inch, and the remaining layers are even. Altogether the whole thing is only one inch thick. The ice also must be kept at a certain temperature, so that it is soft enough to grip the skates and take the impact of falls. The ice is usually kept between 26 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit.


The blade on their ice skates is usually made from either carbon steel and chrome or aluminum and stainless steel. The blades can be made many different ways. There are blades with small toe picks and ones with large toe picks. The curve on the bottom of the blade can also change depending on the brand of skates.


http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/ice-rink4.htm

http://figureskating.about.com/od/bootsandblades/qt/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Figure-Skating-Blades.htm



The picture to the right shows Gracie Gold with her ice skates.







The article below explains a little about her and her skates, as well as the owners of the store she gets her skates from.

Injuries on Ice

There are two types of injuries in figure skating: overuse and traumatic. The most common overuse injuries are: stress fractures, tendinitis, and various knee or hip injuries. The most common traumatic injuries are: ankle injuries, shoulder dislocation, and head injuries.


So far this year, there have been two injuries in Figure Skating in the Olympics. One from a man on the Russian team and one from a man on the US team.
After his first jump, Jeremy Abbott fell and slid into the padded wall. He was down for almost twenty seconds, resulting in at least a one point deduction from his score. Below is an article that gives more information.

Gracie Gold

The link below goes to a video where one of Gold's coaches shares a little bit.

Biography

Born: August 17th, 1995

Birth Town: Newton, Massachusetts

Parents: Carl & Denise Gold

Twin Sister: Carly Gold

Enjoys: Juggling, Ice Skating, Music

High School: University of Missouri HS

Academic Awards: National Honor Society, US Presidential Award for Academic Excellence

Awards: 2012 World Juniors- Silver, Rostelecom Cup, 2013 US Nationals-Silver

Dreams: Attend college, Work in Medical Field


Gold first learned to ice skate at the age of two. She began to take lessons when she was in second grade. She started her skating career in 2003.




Below is a link to an article that explains a little bit about her childhood.

A Look Back

Gold was a natural from the beginning. She began taking lessons at 8 years old. When she was 11 she placed 6th place, out of 18, in a juvenile competition (as the image above shows). The next year she placed 10th in the next level up, intermediate, and 8th at the same level the year after.


Come the 2009-2010 season, she won two first places and a fourth place at the Novice level. She went up the levels so quickly that she only competed at the Novice level that year.


The next two seasons she competed at the junior level. She earned four firsts and two seconds in those two seasons. The two seasons when she competed at the senior level, she took two firsts and four seconds.


There are many similarities between her skating in 2009 and her skating this year in the Olympics. She found her style early on. Even though she has skated to different genres of music, there is always that quality to show that it is her style.


http://www.usfigureskating.org/event_related_details.asp?ri=content/events/200607/regionals-ugl/juvgirls-1b.htm

http://figureskatersonline.com/graciegold/skating/

Quotes

In her blog online, Gold puts inspiring quotes in some of her entries.


"Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, it's not the end." - Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard

I got some pictures and information from Gracie Gold's website/blog. Here is the link below if you want to learn more about her.
Above and Below: Carly Gold supports and helps her twin sister, and best friend, Gracie Gold while in Sochi to perform at the 2014 Olympics.

Figure Skating Schedule

Short Program- Men: 2/6/14 @ 9:30

Short Program- Pairs: 2/6/14 @ 11:10

Short Dance- Ice Dance: 2/8/14 @8:30

Short Program- Ladies: 2/8/14 @10:10

Free Program- Pairs: 2/8//14 @ 12:05

Free Program- Men: 2/9/14 @ 9:00

Free Program- Ladies: 2/9/14 @ 10:05

Free Dance- Ice Dance: 2/9/14 @ 11:10

Short Program- Pairs: 2/11/14 @ 9:00

Free Skating- Pairs: 2/12/14 @ 9:45

Short Program- Men: 2/13/14 @ 9:00

Free Skating- Men: 2/14/14 @ 9:00

Short Dance- Ice Dance: 2/16/14 @ 9:00

Free Dance- Ice Dance: 2/17/14 @ 9:00

Short Program- Ladies: 2/19/14 @ 9:00

Free Skating- Ladies: 2/20/14 @ 9:00

Gold short program for the 2014 Olympics. Greig's Piano Concierto.
USC2014 Gracie GOLD SP

Score Report

2/9/14

Free Program-Ladies

Gold finishes second with her best score ever of 129.38.


2/9/14

Free Dance-Ice Dance

US team places Bronze.


2/19/14

Short Program-Ladies

Gold finished 4th with a score of 68.63. Which qualified her for the Free Skating- Ladies.


2/20/14

Free Skating-Ladies

Gold finishes 5th with a score of 136.90 for that program. Total score of 205.53 for the last two events which puts her in 4th place.