96-year-old Fran Gold is one proud grandma after her granddaughter wins Olympic bronze
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Dinner is on 96-year-old Fran Gold once her granddaughter returns to Steamboat Springs holding that bronze medal she earned Monday night at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
“I can’t even begin to tell you about last night,” said Fran, whose apartment at Casey’s Pond senior living community in Steamboat is filled with family photos.
Earlier in the day Monday, her 21-year-old granddaughter Arielle Gold had rode well enough to compete in the finals of the women’s snowboard halfpipe event, and residents at Casey’s Pond gathered to watch.
“There was a whole group watching it, but I couldn’t see or hear, so I came up and watched it,” Fran said.
Arielle had three opportunities in the finals to ride down the halfpipe and earn a single score that would earn her a spot on the podium.
The first run did not go well for Arielle after she missed her first trick — a frontside 1080 tail-grab spin — and slid into the pipe on her back.
Her second run was better, but she was still one spot shy of the podium.
Arielle worked up more courage for her final run and went big, but Fran did not think it was enough.
“I thought she was in fifth place,” Fran said. “I was very disappointed, but one of the girls came in and said ‘congratulations.’ I must have fallen asleep during the time that she was getting the medal, and I didn’t see what happened.”
Arielle Gold had earned her first Olympic medal, and fortunately, Fran’s television recorded the performance.
“A proud 96-year-old grandmother,” Fran said. “Very proud.”
After the event, Fran got a phone call from her daughter-in-law Patty.
“She called me last night very excited,” Fran said.
She learned her son, Ken, and Arielle had both been crying with joy.
Tuesday was filled with more congratulations from residents and visitors at Casey’s Pond.
“It’s like a family,” Fran said. “Everybody feels like a part of it.”
Freshies Restaurant, a favorite spot with the Gold family, also sent over a big tray of cookies.
Fran took Arielle out to dinner after winning a silver medal at the X Games in January, and she plans to do the same thing once Arielle returns from South Korea.
Fran is proud of Arielle’s accomplishments, but she has no intention of holding back when it comes to offering her granddaughter some advice for the future.
“I want her to get out of snowboarding and go to college,” Fran said. “Enough is enough.”
Arielle is halfway toward earning her degree from the University of Colorado, and she plans to become a veterinarian.
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