Gracie Gold 'nervous' on return to competition after depression

The American also says going back to Moscow feels like she is 'coming home' ahead of the Rostelecom Cup 2018

Gracie Gold is back and smiling ahead of her first event since taking a break after mental health problems.

The Olympic bronze medallist put her figure skating career on hold after suffering from anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.

The Rostelecom Cup marks her return to compeition.

"It feels amazing... to be back on the Grand Prix circuit," she said to the Olympic Channel in Moscow.

"It kind of feels like coming home in a way."

The American won her first Grand Prix medal in Moscow back in 2012.

"I never do things the easy way. I would never come back at a small competition... I am really excited though and just really looking forward to the next four years in total."

Gracie Gold smiles ahead of the Rostelecom Cup 2018 in Moscow
Gracie Gold smiles ahead of the Rostelecom Cup 2018 in MoscowGracie Gold smiles ahead of the Rostelecom Cup 2018 in Moscow

'Not 100 percent'

The two-time US national champion admits that she is still not back to full fitness after her time away from the sport.

"I really want to skate well and do my best and I know that I am not even close to 100 percent.

"(I am) probably only like 30 or 40 percent of what I would like to (be) over the next four years going into the next Olympics."

The 23-year-old is aiming at a return to the Olympics in 2022 after picking up a bronze medal in the team event at Sochi 2014.

"So, when I decided to come back. I decided to come back for a four year chunk...

"Obviously, (we will be) checking in at the end of each season... (And) I don’t really know if I am heading to the Games (for sure) until January 2022. But that’s where we have our sights set for now."

Strong, youthful field

Gold faces some tough competition on her return in the shape of Olympic champion Alina Zagitova.

The Russian is joined by teammate Sofia Samodurova and Yuna Shiraiwa of Japan as favourites for victory in Moscow.

All are 16 years old.

Those three are all vying for a place in December's Grand Prix Final in Vancouver, Canada.

Zagitova won the first event of the season in Helsinki ahead of another talented Russian - Stanislava Konstantinova.

Elizabet Tursynbaeva (left) and Alina Zagitova (right) in Moscow for ISU Grand Prix
Elizabet Tursynbaeva (left) and Alina Zagitova (right) in Moscow for ISU Grand PrixElizabet Tursynbaeva (left) and Alina Zagitova (right) in Moscow for ISU Grand Prix

Home favourites

There's plenty of opportunities away from the individual competition for the Russian crowd to show their support.

Ranked number two in the world, Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin are also hoping to build on their Helsinki GP win in ice dance.

In pairs, Yevgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov will be hoping to secure a win in Moscow.

Russia also have three in the men's category: Artur Dmiriev, Mikhail Kolyada, and Andrei Lazukin.

Although, double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu looks to be the clear favourite.

Follow the Olympic Channel for all the latest updates on the ground from the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

READ MORE: OLYMPIC CHAMPS YUZURU HANYU AND ALINA ZAGITOVA UNDER SPOTLIGHT IN MOSCOW

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