It was an emotional success — that came from an unlikely source.
“They text us that we’re going to the Olympics,” Wagner, 26, revealed in a PEOPLE Now appearance that aired Thursday. “That’s terrible!”
“You get a text message and it says, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been selected to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games,’ ” Wagner continued. “It’s waiting for that text message that is just the worst.”
She said that Rippon, 28, “was miserable until he found out that he was placed on the team.” But after learning he’d made it, it was all tears and hugs — and a little wine.
To celebrate, Wagner said, “I immediately marched downstairs and was like, ‘I need some sauvignon blanc, please, two glasses,’ and this was in the bar. And I just like snuck out of the bar and went up to the hotel room.”
Happy as they were, the moment was also “bittersweet.”
“Adam had just been named to the team, and then the night before I found out I was going to be the [first] alternate,” Wagner said. (She previously competed at the 2014 Games, where she helped America earn a bronze medal in the team figure skating event.)
“There’s just so much emotion in the room,” she said, “but I think that the two of us lean on each other so much and we’re woven into each other’s journeys that it was really special to share with each other.”
Come competition time in South Korea, Wagner said she is Rippon’s “No. 1 cheerleader and best friend, so I’m so happy for him.”
For his part, Rippon recently told PEOPLE he was joined by Wagner, his mom and one of his coaches when he got the news: “It was just such an awesome moment to share with three really important people in my life.”
The 2018 Winter Olympics will air live starting Feb. 8. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.