Ashley Wagner Olympics, Four years of work after narrowly missing the U.S. Olympic team in 2010 were summed up Saturday in two words mouthed by Ashley Wagner after falling twice in a nerve-stricken performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
“I’m sorry,” Wagner said, fighting back tears as she looked in the direction of the TV cameras at Boston’s TD Garden, where the two-time U.S. national champion failed to defend her title and, of greater concern, jeopardized her prospects for making the Sochi-bound 2014 Olympic team.
Wagner finished fourth, just out of the medals that would have guaranteed her the Olympic berth she has coveted for so many years.
“It’s embarrassing, as two-time national champion, to put out a performance like this,” Wagner said. “As soon as they called my name my legs felt like lead. I couldn’t shake it out.”
Taking the gold was the aptly named Gracie Gold, 18, who took a commanding lead into Saturday’s free skate and expanded on it with a brave and artfully rendered program that included four triple jumps in the first 55 seconds. With it, Gold was crowned the 2014 U.S. champion, beating all comers with a commanding score of 211.69 points.
The silver medal went to 15-year-old Polina Edmunds (193.63), the 2013 U.S. junior champion, who has exploded like a shooting star these last four days. But it won’t be clear until Sunday, when the U.S. Olympic team is named, whether this overnight star will be on the roster for Sochi.
Equally surprising was Mirai Nagasu, the 2010 Olympian whose consistency has never matched her talent. Competing without a coach, the 20-year-old Nagasu brought the house down with her stylish ode to James Bond, which included six triple jumps and a double axel (190.74).