Skip to content

Gracie Gold, Scott Hamilton comment on Ashley Wagner/Mirai Nagasu

Jan 14, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT

2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships Getty Images

Ashley Wagner and Mirai Nagasu weren’t the only skaters brought to tears over Sunday’s Olympic Team announcement.

Wagner cried in joy after making the three-woman team for Sochi on Sunday, 13 hours after finishing fourth at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Nagasu, who was third at the U.S. Championships, wept during her exhibition skate Sunday night.

Even U.S. champion Gracie Gold and NBC Olympics analyst Scott Hamilton got emotional over the decision.

Did Wagner deserve to be placed on the team over Nagasu due to her merit over the last year?

“I really wish that we had four or five spots going to Sochi,’’ Gold said on TODAY on Tuesday. “It’s so hard just to have three. The ladies’ field in the U.S. is so deep, and they’re all wonderful skaters. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. I’m really good friends with Ashley and Mirai, and so we talked and we hugged and we cried, and it’s been a long journey for everybody.”

The U.S. Olympic Team is drawn from not only the U.S. Championships standings but also considering several national and international results over the last two seasons.

“The national championships aren’t the Olympic Trials,’’ Hamilton said on TODAY on Monday. “The selection process for the Olympic Games goes on for a couple of years before the Olympic Games, so the nationals are a part of that process, but it’s not the process. So when you look at Ashley Wagner and what she’s done over the last two years, winning nationals twice, placing high enough in the World Championships to allow three participants to go, she’s already earned her spot on the Olympic Team.”

Nagasu was fourth at the 2010 Olympics and led the 2010 World Championships after the short program. In competitions U.S. Figure Skating looks at when determining the Olympic Team, she was third and eighth in two 2013 Grand Prix series events and seventh at the 2013 U.S. Championships.

Wagner was 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

“I like to see somebody earn their spot on the team, but Ashley kind of did that,” Hamilton said. “Mirai, I adore. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, was to give her our traditional ice cream [Sunday] night with her eyes full of tears. She’s devastated, and my heart bleeds for her. I’m so sad for her, but the reason we have three women going to the Olympics is because of Ashley Wagner.”

Hamilton’s reference to three women going to the Olympics was due to Wagner and Gold finishing fifth and sixth at the 2013 World Championships.

They needed to have a combined placement of 13 or better, or else the U.S. would have had two women at the Olympics as it did in 2010.

Nagasu has yet to comment publicly on the decision. A statement from Nagasu was released Sunday night.

“I’m disappointed in the decision,” Nagasu said in the statement. “Though I may not agree with it, I have to respect the decision the federation made. And I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me and look forward to what comes next in my skating career.”

List of athletes nominated to U.S. Olympic Team

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Prefontaine Classic — 3:30 p.m. ET

    May 30, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Olympic champions square off in an early season test ahead of the U.S. and World Championships.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Collegiate Rugby Championship — 3 p.m. ET

    May 30, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    CHESTER, PA - JUNE 01:  Players from California celebrate their win over Kutztown after the Championship Final at the Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational at PPL Park on June 1, 2014 in Chester, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The first of two days of rugby sevens action goes to 6 p.m. ET.

  3. Mo Farah prevails, Galen Rupp beaten at Prefontaine Classic

    May 30, 2015, 6:40 AM EDT

    Mo Farah Getty Images

    The Diamond League meet continues Saturday on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

  4. Wilson Kipsang: I’m still the world’s best marathon runner

    May 29, 2015, 2:42 PM EDT

    Wilson Kipsang Getty Images

    Kipsang also provided his plan for racing the rest of the year.

  5. Steve Prefontaine’s last race was 40 years ago today

    May 29, 2015, 9:20 AM EDT

    Steve Prefontaine Getty Images

    The Prefontaine Classic will remember the distance running icon Friday and Saturday.

  6. Cal favored to make history at Collegiate Rugby Championship

    May 28, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    CHESTER, PA - JUNE 01:  Players from California celebrate their win over Kutztown after the Championship Final at the Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational at PPL Park on June 1, 2014 in Chester, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The competition will be live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday and Sunday.

  7. Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross withdraw from Moscow Grand Slam

    May 28, 2015, 9:16 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Ross spoke with FIVB about the pair’s prospects for the near future.

  8. Prefontaine Classic preview, schedule, broadcast info

    May 27, 2015, 4:01 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Several of the top U.S. contenders for World Championships medals will be in action.

  9. Mary Cain leaves Oregon, returns home to New York

    May 27, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT

    Mary Cain Getty Images

    Cain must be in top shape one month from now for the biggest domestic meet of the season.

  10. Kerri Walsh Jennings injures shoulder, forfeits match

    May 27, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

    FUZHOU, CHINA - APRIL 25:  Kerri Walsh of USA reacts during the match against Taliqua Clancy and Louise Bawden of Australia during the Fuzhou Open 2015 on April 25, 2015 in Fuzhou, China.  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Walsh Jennings has a history of shoulder problems.

  11. Katie Uhlaender, skeleton World champion, becomes track cyclist

    May 27, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT

    Katie Uhlaender Getty Images

    Uhlaender isn’t finished with her sliding career, though.

  12. Missy Franklin returns to Colorado, coach Todd Schmitz

    May 26, 2015, 8:13 AM EDT

    Missy Franklin Getty Images

    She may change coaches after the World Championships.

  13. James Magnussen out of World Swimming Championships

    May 23, 2015, 7:40 PM EDT

    James Magnussen Getty Images

    Nathan Adrian’s biggest rival in the 100m freestyle could still be an Australian.

  14. Rulon Gardner on returning to wrestling training, getting his gold medal back

    May 22, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    Rulon Gardner Getty Images

    The 2000 Olympic champion continues to struggle with weight loss.

  15. Rome mayor wants 2024 Olympic medal ceremonies in Colosseum

    May 22, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT

    Rome Colosseum Getty Images

    “We want to rebuild the arena of the Colosseum so that the athletes can be lifted in like the gladiators in the Roman times.”