She joined two-time national champion Ashley Wagner and third-place finisher Agnes Zawadzki in a news conference after the long program, and soon was praising her competitors in her own unique way.
"I just want to congratulate these other two women because they are amazing and they push me," she said. "They skated great short programs and really good long programs and they deserve to be here with me."
What an interesting choice of words: "they deserve to be here with me." It was the first time Gold had been there herself, of course. But give the kid credit for saying what she thought, and giving us a window into what appears to be her enormously confident world.
There's an icy steeliness to Gold that is likely to dissipate over time, at least on the ice, as she becomes a more polished figure skater. Landing massive triple jumps is one thing, and she has mastered that skill. But she will have to skate more mature, sophisticated programs, and soon, if she wants to join the likes of returning Olympic champion Kim Yu-na, two-time world champion Mao Asada and reigning world champion Carolina Kostner, among others, as world and Olympic medal hopefuls. What's more, Wagner, who herself is tough as nails, has a more accomplished international resume than her younger American counterpart.
But you get the sense that Gold doesn't care about who is in her way, which, while it won't win many style points, could be a very good strategy to try to plow through the skating world.