Jan 14, 2014, 9:53 AM EDT
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.”
May 6, 2015, 9:51 AM EDT
Canadians must return for 2016-17 if they are to come back at all, according to report.
May 6, 2015, 9:34 AM EDT
Russia is focused on another major sporting event.
May 6, 2015, 9:19 AM EDT
Kerri Walsh Jennings also wants to have another child, after the Rio Games.
May 6, 2015, 9:07 AM EDT
NBC Sports and NBCOlympics.com combined for seven Sports Emmys for Sochi presentation.
May 6, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT
Watch the resourceful video from the 2008 gold medalist.
May 5, 2015, 2:23 PM EDT
Miller also said the Magnificent Seven is planning its 20-year anniversary.
May 5, 2015, 12:52 PM EDT
Three-time World champion explained why he’s returning to competition.
May 5, 2015, 11:16 AM EDT
Woods also compared Olympic golf to Olympic tennis.
May 5, 2015, 8:39 AM EDT
“This is just the beginning.”
May 4, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
Liukin could be very busy during Indy 500 week with another competition.
May 4, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT
The U.S. only has one Olympian on its roster.
May 4, 2015, 10:19 AM EDT
“The guy who was getting ready to dive on the top board was laughing at me.”
May 3, 2015, 10:32 PM EDT
Bolt was seen at the stadium but sat out as an injury precaution.
May 3, 2015, 6:19 PM EDT
It’s the first World title for the Americans on home ice.
May 3, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT
They had been together for nearly three years.
May 3, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Both teams crushed their first four opponents to reach this final rematch.
May 2, 2015, 10:45 PM EDT
Also, Allyson Felix was involved in a collision.
May 2, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT
It’s a rematch of the 2013 World Championship final.
May 1, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
The U.S. has dominated opponents so far, but the medal round figures to provide tougher tests.
May 1, 2015, 4:41 PM EDT
Rhode could become the first Olympian to win medals on five continents.
- Patrick Chan’s return about more than elusive Olympic gold medal 1
- Tiger Woods: Olympics ‘very important’ as he attempts climb to Rio 2016 2
- Warren Weir calls Ryan Bailey ‘a little nobody’ after Usain Bolt taunt 5
- U.S. blanks Canada for gold at IPC World Sled Hockey Championship 0
- Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods announce breakup 7
- U.S. holds off Usain Bolt at World Relays (video) 3
- Kim Rhode still No. 1 after difficult pregnancy, gun change on road to history in Rio 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)