Following the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the Olympic team that will represent the United States in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia was announced. Everyone understood that current U.S. champion Gracie Gold would be selected to the team, but the final two spots led to some controversy.
15-year-old Polina Edmunds was the second skater selected to the team, while 2013 U.S. Champion Ashley Wagner got the edge over Mirai Nagasu in a decision that drummed up plenty of discussion.
Wagner finished fourth in the event, while Nagasu finished third.
However, due to the success over the past two years, Wagner was given the edge and earned the final spot on the Olympic team.
When asked about the decision to select Wagner over Nagasu, Gold expressed her sympathy and simply wished that there were more spots available.
“I really wish that we had four or five spots going to Sochi,’’ Gold said on TODAY. “It’s so hard just to have three. The ladies’ field in the U.S. is so deep, and they’re all wonderful skaters. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. I’m really good friends with Ashley and Mirai, and so we talked and we hugged and we cried, and it’s been a long journey for everybody.”
While Nagasu is happy for Wagner, she is still disappointing with how everything played out and she issued a statement on the issue.
“I’m disappointed in the decision,” Nagasu said in the statement. “Though I may not agree with it, I have to respect the decision the federation made. And I’m grateful to everyone who has supported me and look forward to what comes next in my skating career.”
There will certainly be plenty of discussion about the final spot on the United States figure skating team over the next few weeks leading up to the Sochi Games, but once the Olympics start the skaters will need to put everything behind them and focus on bringing home some medals for their country.