Elise Amendola/AP
February 04, 2014 05:30 PM

Although she’s not headed to the Olympics in Sochi, figure skater Mirai Nagasu deserves a gold medal in good sportsmanship.

“Mirai has been absolutely incredible,” Ashley Wagner, who was named to the Olympic team in a controversial decision by U.S. skating officials, told Matt Lauer of the Today show Tuesday.

“She and I have been friends for quite some time now, and she texted me and we’ve been in touch after nationals, and she just said, ‘You know what, you deserve to be on this team. I’m cheering you on, good luck,’ so to have that support has been everything for me,” Wagner, 22, said.

Nagasu, 20, won bronze at the U.S. championships in Boston last month while Wagner, who fell twice, placed fourth.

After it was announced that Wagner would take the third spot on the Olympic team, Nagasu gave a tearful performance at the exhibition gala in front of a cheering crowd.

“I’m disappointed in the decision,” Nagasu said in a statement. “Though I may not agree with it, I have to respect the decision the federation made.”

The decision was based on Wagner’s many wins at international competitions over the past few years, including top-five finishes at the last two world championships, and gold medals at the U.S. championships in 2012 and 2013.

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