Bradie Tennell Headlines US Figure Skating Olympic Women's Team 2018

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2018

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 05:  Bradie Tennell competes in the Ladies Free Skate during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 5, 2018 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

After winning gold at the United States Figure Skating Championships on Friday, Bradie Tennell will lead Team USA at the 2018 Olympics that begin Feb. 9.

Per an official announcement from the U.S. Figure Skating governing body Saturday, Tennell will be joined in South Korea by Mirai Nagasu and Karen Chen:

U.S. Figure Skating @USFigureSkating

We are proud to nominate @bradie_tennell, @mirai_nagasu and @Karebearsk8 to the U.S. #WinterOlympics Ladies Figure Skating Team. https://t.co/ANFdQ4O5Dg

Tennell led Nagasu by 0.7 points after the short program with a score of 73.79, leaving the free skate to determine how the championship would play out.

The 19-year-old Tennell had the best score during Friday's event, recording a 145.72 from the judges. Nagasu and Chen took home silver and bronze.

"I really don't think it's sunk in quite yet," Tennell said after her win, via Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. "I'm still kind of shocked."

Ashley Wagner, who was a controversial choice for the 2014 Olympic team after she finished fourth, took issue with the judges' scoring during her free skate performance.

"I'm furious. I am absolutely furious," Wagner said, via the Associated Press. "I know when I go and I lay it down, and I absolutely left one jump on the table, but for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition as solid as I skated and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so. I am a performer, and that second mark is just not there. I am absolutely OK with them being strict on my rotations. That's what I think that U.S. Figure Skating should demand of their judges, but it needs to be across the board. I don't necessarily feel like it's been that way at this event, so we'll see how things pan out."

Wagner earned the third-best score in the free skate (130.25), but the 26-year-old started the day in fifth place, 1.06 points behind Angela Wang and 3.54 behind Chen.

Chen tallied 129.11 in the free skate to finish 2.4 points ahead of Wagner for the bronze medal and will make her first trip to the Olympics.

The trio of Tennell, Nagasu and Chen will attempt to help the United States team improve upon its bronze medal from Sochi, Russia, four years ago.


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