Ashley Wagner’s arrival at the Sochi Winter Games has been anything but smooth, but now that she is here, she wants to prove to everybody and especially herself that she deserved to be picked to represent the United States at the Olympics.
After helping Team USA earn a bronze medal in the inaugural team event at the beginning of competition in Sochi, Ashley Wagner finds herself in sixth place following the short program on Wednesday with a score of 65.21.
American teammates, 15-year-old Polina Edmunds — competing in her first major international event as a senior — and Gracie Gold earned 61.04 and 68.63 respectively. Gold is currently standing in the fourth place, Edmunds in seventh.
The biggest surprise of the short program was teen Russian sensation Yulia Lipnitskaia’s uncharacteristic fall, after being nearly flawless in the team competition.
These results give American Gracie Gold the best chance to medal, but don’t discount the rest out in an event in which anything seems possible.
Ashley Wagner is a two-time US National Champion (2012 and 2013), which was one of the reasons she actually got picked to be part of the United States delegation.
After a poor performance in the short program, falling twice and only landing four triples during the free program, Ashley Wagner finished fourth at the 2014 US Championships.
Despite the result, she was named to the US team due to her strong international record, which is part of the criteria for selection process and which left third-place finisher and 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu out of Team USA.
Easing the pressure, following her role in the bronze medal win in the team competition and with all the talk about Lipniskaia and defending gold medalist Yuna Kim we have seen a very determined Ashley Wagner at Sochi.
During the team competition, she was mocked for her heartfelt facial expressions while waiting and then receiving her score, which she wasn’t pleased with. She was candid afterwards:
“I think it’s hilarious, to be honest. What you see is what you get (…) I haven’t mastered the art of sitting and smiling.”
Ashley Wagner wants nothing more than for people so see her true personality and she’s fired up as the competition resumes on Thursday:
“This sounds so, like, ‘PC athlete,’ but honestly, I worked my butt off every single day since nationals and I’ve been way too tired, way too sweaty, way too exhausted and angry with training to not go out there and do it.”