Crash Course: Ashley Wagner is an American figure skater who has designs on bringing home an individual medal from Sochi to go with her team bronze. Wagner is a highly decorated skater, but she performed poorly at the U.S. Championships in Boston, and many thought she would be replaced on the Olympic team by Mirai Nagasu. Instead, the U.S. figure skating committee recognized her accomplishments since the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and selected her. Wagner says her background as the daughter of a military officer gave her the discipline that carries over into all aspects of her life.
Athletic Profile: Wagner, 22, won the U.S. Championships in 2012 and 2013, and she was considered the first lady of U.S. skating heading into the 2013 event. She won a gold medal at the Four Continents event in 2012, and she won a silver and a bronze at back-to-back Grand Prix Finals in 2012 and 2013. She also earned her first Olympic medal in the team figure skating—a bronze—in Sochi.
The Image: Wagner may be to the 2014 Winter Olympics what U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney was to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Maroney is remembered for her "not impressed" look that became an iconic meme, while Wagner made her own not impressed face after her score went up following her skate in the team event. Wagner was happy with her performance. She was not thrilled with the judges' evaluation of it.
Off the Ice: On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Wagner was in shock like many Americans. However, her fear and panic was quite personal. Her father was in the Pentagon at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Fortunately, he was safe. Wagner grew up as an army kid, and she credits that military background with her discipline on the ice. Before she reached her current heights in figure skating, she supported herself by working at a clothing store to pay rent and pinched pennies by eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Quote: "I love to win, honestly. ... If you love to win, you should say it. And honestly, I'm hooked on it." — Ashley Wagner on her competitive nature (via NBC News.)
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!