After receiving disappointingly low scores from the judges during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ashley Wagner spoke out against the judges who stood between her and her Olympic dreams
After receiving disappointingly low scores from the judges during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ashley Wagner spoke out against the judges who stood between her and her dream of competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After Friday’s competition — in which Wagner finished in fourth place — she revealed that was was “absolutely furious,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The 26-year-old Olympic bronze medalist added that “For me to put out two programs that I did at this competition as solid as I skated and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so.”
“I honestly think that at the end of the day, this is how I feel, and I feel like I need to stick up for myself, and I think that I delivered when I really needed to,” Wagner continued. “I think all these girls delivered when they needed to, but I want to be on that Olympic team and I’m really mad that I’m in this position again.”
Although Wagner was given the chance to represent the United States at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi after finishing in fourth in the U.S. Championships that year — edging out skater Mirai Nagasu who had finished in third place — on Saturday it was announced that Wagner would not be so lucky again. She was named as Team USA’s first alternate.
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Wagner previously opened up to PEOPLE about what it would have meant to get to compete in the Pyeongchang Olympics as a 26-year-old woman.
“To be a 26-year-old woman on the ice is an achievement in this sport because you’re working against a lot of different things,” she said. “If I got to Pyeongchang, I will be the oldest U.S. female figure skating athlete since 1924 or something like that — so I think it really goes to show that my longevity is something that’s very, very rare. And I’m really proud of that, and it’s because I’m so freakin’ stubborn.”
And while the road to Pyeongchang was not always easy for the three-time national champion, Wagner never lost sight of her goal.
“I think that if anyone tells you that they’ve been that hungry every single day of their career, they’re not being honest,” Wagner added. “You have days where you don’t want to train. I mean, I’ve been skating for 22 years — this absolutely gets old. But it’s one of those things where I set a goal when I was 6, 7 years old and I owe it to that little girl … to see this through.”
The 2018 Games, beginning on Feb. 8, would have been Wagner’s third Olympic experience. In addition to receiving a bronze medal at the team-skating event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, she was a first alternate at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The three women who were chosen to compete for the United States in Pyeongchang next month are Bradie Tennell, Karen Chen and Mirai Nagasu — the figure skater who Wagner beat out for a spot on the Olympic team in 2014.