Home Pop Culture A good decision? U.S Figure skater Ashley Wagner chosen over Mirai Nagasu...

A good decision? U.S Figure skater Ashley Wagner chosen over Mirai Nagasu and the world cries foul.

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 Ashley Wagner
Ashley Wagner. So what’s she doing in the team anyway?

Ashley Wagner, US figure skater was too photogenic to fail?

Controversy has boiled with the recent decision by the U.S Figure Slating Association to choose fourth trial runner up Ashley Wagner over 3rd place getter Mirai Nagasu, who coincidentally happened to be the only skater not to make a major error during this weekend’s preliminary team try outs.

Who though made plenty of errors was Wagner who took two disorientating tumbles during her routine, ensuring that she would not be selected to be on the U.S Figure skating team that gets to represent the US in the upcoming Winter Olympics. But that surprisingly that was not to be the case, with many wondering why and how Ashley Wagner actually managed to win a berth over Nagasu?

The move marks the first time the federation has ever bumped a skater from the team who met all the credentials and placed high enough at nationals who was passed over for the Olympics, with Nagasu named as an alternate.

Interestingly the USFSA’s went on to defend their decision by telling that it made an ‘objective analysis’ of the skaters, with Wagner ranked No. 2 in the world by Icenetwork.com before her meltdown.

Told the organization’s president, Patricia St. Peter: ‘If you look at Ashley Wagner’s record and performance, she’s got the top credentials of any of our female athletes.’ 

Wagner – who slipped under the stands to cry after her performance, fearing the worst – said she was shocked at the decision.

But she thanked the USFSA for ‘making the right decision.’ Of course one wonders if Nagasu believes whether the USFSA made the right decision as well.

Told the skater: ‘I’m happy that my federation was able to see beyond one bad skate.’

Wagner has won back-to-back U.S. figure skating championships in 2012 and 2013—the first American skater to capture multiple titles since Michelle Kwan. She also managed to place 5th in World meets last year whilst Nagasu went on to take 4th place in the Winter Olympics in 2010.

It’s not the first time Wagner has faltered, with the figure skater having a reputation of coming undone at every major event where she has competed.

Then there was this anonymous source who told the following via usaTwo people with knowledge of the selection process told USA TODAY Sports that Wagner will be on the Olympic team, ‘even if she’s 10th.’ She finished fourth. The two spoke on the condition of anonymity because the selection process was ongoing.

above image found here

 

A cursory regard of comments on the web led to some of the following remarks:

That’s just how it is … not necessarily what you know but whom you know!

 

I guess if Wagner comes in 4th at the Olympics she’ll demand they give her the Bronze, eh?

 

Let’s see, Ashley Wagner = lots of sponsorships, more marketable, better name brand. 3rd place girl. I can see how this was a easy decision for the board. After all who cares how well you did or what experience you had.

  

I saw Nagasu’s routine, and she did very well. I think the rap on her is that she does more workmanlike stuff and is not likely to be at gold- or silver-medal level at the Olympics, so they picked the skater they thought had the higher upside. But still, it’s pretty tough to outskate somebody like this and still be passed over. This is why you should get your kids into golf. It won’t matter what people think about what they look like, whether their swing “looks” best, etc. Only thing that matters is the score you shoot. Couldn’t be fairer.

 

If the Olympic sport was determined by a skater’s overall “body of work”, then Michelle Kwan should have won the gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, instead of Sarah Hughes. So why did the USFSA selectively choose to ignore Wagner’s poor performance at US nationals? As with most sporting events, money and sponsors matter.

 

NBC lost one of its U.S. Olympic stars when Lindsey Vonn opted out of the Olympics earlier this month due to injury. The TV network, who currently holds U.S. broadcasting rights to the Olympics, was not about to let their other Olympic hopeful, Ashley Wagner slip by either. With all the Wagner publicity that NBC has bombarded viewers with recently, how could they?

 

It is heartbreaking that Ashley Wagner skated so poorly at nationals, but denying Mirai Nagasu a spot that she earned does not right the situation. Sports are about rising to the task when the pressure is on. Mirai did that, including in the 2010 Olympics where she delivered a beautiful, clean program. What message are you trying to send to young athletes? That the rules are not the same for everyone? That it’s not worth showing up to compete because the results get ignored?”

 

Here’s what bothers me. Wagner could’ve finished 8th and she still would have been chosen because of her ‘body of work’. Mirai could’ve finished 2nd and still would have been passed over. She basically had to be #1 or get cut. How fair is that? All 3 skaters were chosen before the Nationals. The entire event was a sham. Mirai never had a chance of going to Sochi

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  • theregoesanotherolympics

    I can’t stand the sight or sound of Ashley Wagner….for her to DARE say that HER federation saw past one bad skate….(one? hasn’t won a free skate all season) and then go on to preen about how they made the ‘right decision’…..another kwan in the works here and it’s ugly, reeks of favoritism, predetermination….Mirai EARNED her spot…period!! Seems that the ‘officials’ who pontificate can do whatever they damned well please….there are no set rules…so, if their blonde overly made up already chosen wench falls all over the place (and she was over marked as it is)…two foots landings, gets skeered of the big lights and big show….well, too bad….she’s going anyway…she was shoved down our throats and the commercials were made…done deal! The Nationals were nothing but a farce and sham…why bother….seems that the commentators were really making a huge point of saying…’now remember, placements here don’t guarantee a spot…unless you take the Gold’….Scott Hamilton (for whom I have lost any respect) saying before Wagner could brush the ice chips off her pretty little body that she deserves to go to the Olympics….bashing Mirai’s awesome program as much as he could while she was skating it…this was a DONE DEAL! We aren’t STUPID you pontificating bunch of hot air blowing crooks….out for the money and press….and expecting us to buy into the fairness of this CRAP!! I think that Mirai should have won at Nationals in 2010 but that’s just my opinion. I KNOW that Wags made so many butt prints in the ice…..and completely disintegrated. Then this snotty, snobby, ugly on the inside wannabe who wanted to ‘earn’ her berth changed her tune and ‘is honored that HER federation made the right decision’….she should be ashamed and embarrassed and give that spot back to Mirai…won’t happen…no way….no matter the spin this it is WRONG, INSULTING, and DIRTY!!! Not surprised at all that Michelle Kwan had to weigh in and ****shocker**** supports Ashley….of COURSE she does….she paved the way for her by petitioning onto the Olympic team in 2006….sucked up the press, the spotlight, and then after signing a Disney deal threw what was left of the Olympic experience back to Emily Hughes who EARNED the spot….Kwan avoided the Grand Prix after the new scoring system was put in place….her wiggles and jiggles and grin weren’t enough and there was actual COMPETITION….she deemed herself one of the top three skaters in America….so, she wasn’t on the podium at Worlds…so she had two chances….she thought she would be at 100%…ummm…..even at 100% she couldn’t win Gold at the Olympics…..bunch of CRAP!! Oh, and another similarity? Kwan said that the thought of medals never crossed her mind when her plane left LA for Torino….(so, she went for the pasta?)…she and the committee weren’t on the same page…..supposedly the goal is to win medals….now Wags has said she doesn’t expect to medal….has no triple triple….and the commentators observed at the Nats in 2010 that Wags double foots her jumps when she is not sure of herself….so, wags and kweenie is riding/rode to the Olympics on a stolen dream and didn’t/don’t care about medals…..hmmm…..I say hmmm….can’t stand the sight or sound of either of them….ugly ugly ugly….no integrity, no honor, and hypocritical snots to boot….

  • RichandLynn

    Honestly, unless there is corruption involved, I really wish that the USFSA and other federations / associations would just simply honor the results. For once, in my opinion, the judges at Nationals managed to get 1-3 right and they were on the right path until they decided to manipulate the standings for various and nefarious reasons.

    The irony is, that the Olympics themselves are full of “underdog” athletes and great comeback stories and the podiums have been chock full of them and whether the more accomplished athlete is on them or not, you do not see the IOC “bumping” the medalists off the Olympic podium(s), if an underdog beats the big, more accomplished star! I mean, come on…, this is so wrong!

    Imagine, if we applied this selection criteria in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL or any other Olympic eligible sport?!

    Ashley Wagner was not injured at the time of this competition, (all athletes have muscle strains, bumps, bruises, blisters, etc, we’re not talking about that) which would then, obviously, be a strong argument, but to be overwhelmed by the moment, etc?! You live with the consequences, that is sport and that is life!

    We use resumes’ in the business world, not sport, let’s keep it that way and again, unless there is / has been corruption involved, let the podium results in competition stand.

    What would really be impressive, is if Ashley Wagner were to step aside to the alternate position and let the results stand. I guarantee, this action in and of itself would be more impressive and garner more respect from a lot of people, than any medal would, be it gold, silver or bronze. Ashley Wagner would become a household name in the right, positive way, that any athlete would want. This action would show integrity, humility and unquestionable character if she
    were to do this. It would take great strength, resolve, faith and selflessness, no doubt, but there is no way Ashley Wagner could ever lose in this situation! Now that is sportsmanship at it’s finest and the right and compassionate thing to do!

    Not every athlete makes it to the Olympic games, even after multiple tries and that is ok, you can still be a great athlete!! Ashley would survive and be a better person for it!

    Can an athlete honestly, in all good conscience, be comfortable representing the USA at the Olympic Games, knowing that they had been “selected” on very fluid, vague and completely unsportsmanlike rules and guidelines and “justified” by the
    USFSA, based on what the athlete in question “might” be able to do in the future? USFSA, do you have a crystal ball that tells you so?

    No athlete “owns” or is “entitled” a spot, just because they helped get it back, they still need to earn it. As I recall, Ashley Wagner herself, said she was initially responsible, along with others, for losing it. Finishing 4th at the event is not
    exactly “earning” it and yes, placement(s) at Nationals should still hold a very prominent place in deciding Olympic teams. When you start cherry picking teams and podiums like this, the “sport” ceases to be a sport.

    Resist the temptation to “reward” someone for their “body of work” or “resume.” Take each competition singularly.

    Here is an idea: How about if someone from that “selection committee,” with a conscience, steps forward and gives us the real story as to why this biased, unfair and unacceptable “decision” was really made. Think about it, as you have plenty of support to come forward!!