LONDON, Canada — Gracie Gold is plainly reverential toward Yuna Kim, whom the 17-year-old Gold came to idolize in the two years leading up to Kim's victory at the 2010 Olympics.
It makes no difference that she now is Kim's competitor. This was Gold's first encounter with Kim, and she was excited and a little intimidated in the South Korean's presence.
Gold would be too busy with her own preparations for Thursday's short program at the Figure Skating World Championships to catch anything but the end of Kim's performance. By then, Kim had shown exactly what Gold admires so much about her skating.
"There is that smoothness she has on the ice ... how it is one [uninterrupted] program," Gold said.
Even if the judges dinged Kim for a wrong edge takeoff on a triple flip and sloppy execution of one spin, Kim's 69.97 gave her a deserved first place.