Carly and Gracie Gold

photo: Gracie Gold
Gracie Gold

Success is sweet, says Denise Gold. And she should know. Her twin daughters are finding success both on and off the ice as high school juniors and figure skaters.

At 16, Gracie and Carly are enjoying breakthrough years in their sport. Carly qualified for sectional championships at the junior level, and Gracie, after winning gold in the Junior Grand Prix in Estonia, took gold in both the short and long programs to become the 2012 U.S. Junior World champion. She then headed to Minsk, Belarus, to skate in the international Junior World in Spring 2012, where she was named the 2012 Junior World Silver Medalist. She also was named a DREAM athlete by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

To be successful at the rink, however, the girls needed to find balance between school and training. With them both missing some classes in order to train and travel, the situation was becoming “too painful to continue as it was,” Denise says. “When what you’re doing becomes too difficult, you need to look for a solution.”

photo: Gracie Gold
Carly Gold

For the Golds, the solution was MU High School, which their dad, an MU alumnus and anesthesiologist, found online. Denise says she was reluctant for the girls to leave the public school system, but that her husband did the research and felt the program had everything we wanted. “Now, I tell everyone how great it is.”

For both girls, the ability to complete school work around their training schedule has eased their stress levels and may also have helped their skating because they’re now able to train during the day and for longer periods of time.

“It’s been really helpful and was a good choice for us to make,” Gracie says. “It’s set up well, so you know what to study. And the courses are well done.” Both particularly enjoy English classes, especially Greek Mythology.

Carly says she appreciates the variety of courses. “I really like it,” she says. “I think it’s really cool.” And Denise is happy the girls are getting a good education, meeting new friends online and managing better the stress that comes from being high-achieving student athletes. “I don’t think we’ve sacrificed anything,” she says.