Though the US Figure Skating Championships were filled with groundbreaking performances, the most moving by far didn't come from any medalist, but from the 12th-place finisher in the ladies' event. After years away from the sport, during which she
Choreographed to Sara Bareilles's "She Used to Be Mine," a signature song from the musical Waitress, Gracie's free program was intensely emotional from start to finish. The song's lyrics seemed to perfectly reflect her struggles on and off the ice: "If I'm honest, I know I would give it all back / For a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two / For the girl that I knew."
In spite of that, Gracie remained focused, landing four difficult triple jumps, two of which were perfectly clean. Though her technical content couldn't quite keep up with that of the top ladies in the event, it was clear by the end of the performance that no one in the crowd cared about the scoring. Gracie visibly cried while taking her bows before a stadium-wide standing ovation. Even commentator and former Olympic champion Tara Lipinski got choked up while quoting Gracie's words back to viewers: "Sometimes the magic is in the journey, and it's not in a perfect performance."
The championships marked Gracie's first top-level competition in years. After faltering and landing off the podium at the 2016 world championships, she hit some rough patches. She later spoke candidly about