Adam Carlson
January 25, 2018 02:51 PM

Olympic medalist Ashley Wagner stopped by the People Now studios to give an insider’s view of the men and women who will be competing in figure skating for Team USA at next month’s Winter Olympics — and she got pretty candid.

Of the women’s skaters, Wagner, 26, says Mirai Nagasu is “feisty.”

“That girl, I’ve been with her since 2010 and she is feisty, feisty, feisty,” she says.

Relative newcomer Bradie Tennell, meanwhile, may be a “newbie” — but don’t discount her because of her age. Wagner calls Tennell a “technical skater,” and her physical prowess recently led her to first place at the national figure skating championships.

And Karen Chen?

Elegant,” Wagner says. “You’re gasping, you’re on your feet … soft and pretty.”

For the men, Wagner said simply that Adam Rippon, her close friend, is “eyebrows.”

Nathan Chen — an 18-year-old capable of history-making jumps — is a little tougher to crack.

“Kid doesn’t talk,” Wagner tells People Now. “I train with him, and he just started talking to me like a year ago.”

RELATED VIDEO: Figure Skating Wunderkind Nathan Chen on Going for Olympic Gold: ‘I’ve Worked My Entire Life for This Moment’

And Vincent Zhou, the youngest men’s skater at 17, is almost indescribable.

“I don’t know the word. Literally,  the first time I saw this kid was when he was like this big,” she says while holding a hand to her shoulder. “And he was in the hallway at nationals running up the wall and then flipping over.

“So, what is that? That, in a word, is Vincent Zhou.”

Wagner, who helped earn a medal for the U.S. while competing in the team skating event at the 2014 Winter Olympics, is the first alternate for this year’s Games in South Korea.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will air live starting Feb. 8. To learn more, visit

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