Jan 12, 2014, 12:10 PM EDT
Ashley Wagner is going to Sochi.
A U.S. Figure Skating “international committee” chose Wagner as one of three women for the Olympic Team on Sunday, about 13 hours after she finished fourth at the U.S. Championships.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said Wagner, who was teary Sunday. “It’s been a really long four years. … I’m happy the federation was able to see beyond one bad skate.
“I’m on cloud nine.”
The move was expected. The U.S. Championships are not an Olympic Trials such as swimming or track and field, where the Olympic Team is drawn straight from standings.
U.S. Figure Skating also takes into account an athlete’s recent history in major events and who will have the “best chance for success” at the Olympics.
Wagner was chosen over 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu for the third spot despite finishing one place behind Nagasu in Boston on Saturday.
Wagner will join U.S. champion Gracie Gold and silver medalist Polina Edmunds on the Olympic Team.
“This competition is not the only event that USFS [U.S. Figure Skating] considers in selecting the team,” U.S. Figure Skating president Pat St. Peter told reporters. “It’s the results and participation in events over the course of the past year-plus. So if you look at Ashley Wagner’s record and performance, she’s got the top credentials of any of our female athletes.”
The Olympic ice dance and pairs teams were also selected and did not deviate from Saturday’s results.
2012 U.S. pairs champions Caydee Denney and John Coughlin were not named to the team. They finished third Saturday behind Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir as well as Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, who were named to the team.
“The rules are there for a reason,” Wagner said after the short program Thursday. “You could be the best skater all season, and it could just not be your two nights.”
Nagasu impressed at the U.S. Championships by taking third, coming off seventh-place finishes the two years before. Wagner won the U.S. title in 2012 and 2013 and has been the best U.S. skater in major events internationally the last two years.
“It’s embarrassing as a two-time national champion to put out a performance like that,” Wagner said after falling twice in Saturday’s free skate. “Luckily, I had a decent season that definitely helps my case.
“At the same time, I am here to get onto that podium, to really earn that spot,” she said after she was fourth in the short program Thursday. “I don’t want to ever feel like I took away a spot from someone.”
Nagasu placed fourth at the 2010 Olympics, led the 2010 World Championships after the short program but plunged to seventh overall and hasn’t been a major international threat since.
Wagner was the favorite to win the U.S. Championships coming in. She was third at the 2010 U.S. Championships, when the U.S. had two Olympic roster spots, and was not named to the Vancouver team.
This is the first time since 2006 that U.S. Figure Skating strayed from U.S. Championships results. In 2006, an injured Michelle Kwan did not compete at the U.S. Championships but was later placed on the Olympic Team after filing a medical waiver. Kwan later withdrew after suffering a groin injury in Torino.
Here’s what the U.S. Figure Skating Olympic selection procedures outline for how the team is picked:
Take into consideration the results and/or performance data from the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 2013 Senior Grand Prix Final, 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships, 2013 Grand Prix Series events, 2013 Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, 2013 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and 2013 ISU Junior Grand Prix Final to determine athletes who will have the most performance impact and the best chance for success at the 2014 Olympics Winter Games.
It has been the experience of U.S. Figure Skating that the athletes who have had success at the international and Olympic level are those who have demonstrated consistent performances as opposed to the athletes who have had only a single great performance. Therefore, by not having the selection process based solely on one event, U.S. Figure Skating can select the best athletes to represent the United States at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Wagner finished third at the 2013 Grand Prix Final, fifth at the 2013 World Championships, first and second in two 2013 Grand Prix series events and first at the 2013 U.S. Championships.
Nagasu finished third and eighth in two 2013 Grand Prix series events and seventh at the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She was fourth at the 2010 Olympics, skating last.
“The thing I can brag about now is that I’m the only person with Olympic experience, so I know how hard it can get,” Nagasu said Saturday at a press conference. “I don’t know what my federation will do, but all I can say is I did what I had to today. I’ll have to respect any choice that they make.”
The two men’s skaters will be chosen after their free skate Sunday at about 7 p.m. ET.
Here’s the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating roster so far:
Madison Chock/Evan Bates
Meryl Davis/Charlie White
Maia Shibutani/Alex Shibutani
Marissa Castelli/Simon Shnapir
Felicia Zhang/Nathan Bartholomay
Apr 15, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT
Survivors, first responders, those affected by attack take part in tribute.
Apr 15, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
Teams’ tweets sent at same time Tuesday morning.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT
World’s fastest man might not race again until June.
Apr 15, 2014, 11:28 AM EDT
What is the competition like in Phelps’ potential events?
Apr 15, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Prosecution asks for break until May 5.
Apr 15, 2014, 8:16 AM EDT
Ceremony, moment of silence to honor, remember last year’s tragedy.
Apr 14, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT
‘World’s Strongest Man’ talks about nude photo shoot, pro wrestling career, meeting Andre the Giant.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Phelps announced as headliner for meet next week, ending two-year break.
Apr 14, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
22-time Olympic medalist expected to come out of retirement next week.
Apr 14, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT
Woman who finished 20th found day after disappearing.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:34 AM EDT
It’s too early to draw conclusions on Sochi, FIS official says.
Apr 14, 2014, 10:26 AM EDT
Pistorius hugged by woman as he enters court, signs autograph after Monday’s session.
Apr 13, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT
Ski and snowboard slopestyle’s injury rates highest among Sochi sports.
Apr 13, 2014, 7:56 AM EDT
More checkpoints, police officers along Boylston Street to the finish.
Apr 13, 2014, 7:23 AM EDT
Farah asked if he will continue marathon running after disappointing finish.
Apr 12, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
U.S. men’s, women’s teams combined for 3-15 record in Sochi.
Apr 11, 2014, 6:07 PM EDT
Six-time Olympic medalist commented while attending the Masters.
Apr 11, 2014, 1:57 PM EDT
Silver medalist hasn’t been back to Albertville since 1992 Olympics.
Apr 11, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Greene ran anchor on U.S. 4x100m relay teams at 2000, 2004 Olympics.
Apr 11, 2014, 9:38 AM EDT
2010 Olympic champion chooses different music for final portion, though.
- Boston Marathon tribute, moment of silence held near finish line 0
- Can Michael Phelps excel in comeback? 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ cross-examination ends at murder trial 2
- Boston Marathon tragedy remembered on anniversary 0
- Michael Phelps coming out of retirement 7
- How Michael Phelps spent his retirement (photos) 0
- Oscar Pistorius emotionally breaks down as prosecution alleges inconsistencies 1
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (55)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (46)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (36)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)