Ashley Wagner has no regrets about her heated reaction to her disappointing scores at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which kept her from the 2018 Winter Olympics — but she still has nothing but support for the three women who earned spots on the team.
The 26-year-old athlete, who finished fourth in Saturday’s competition, appeared on Today Wednesday morning to explain why she was “absolutely furious” about her scores.
“Seeing those scores was difficult just because I know where my second mark consistently falls, and it unfortunately didn’t this week,” she said. “It was confusing to me and I think in that moment, when I’m feeling the end of this Olympic dream, it was just heartbreaking.”
Wagner shared that although she felt the right skaters were chosen based on their technical scores — which awards or deducts points for jumps, spins, and step sequences — she challenged her components score, which judges award based on the more artistic aspects of the routine.
“The only thing that I question is my scores compared to my scores in the past,” she said. “I scored lower on my second mark in the short program than I did at a competition where I was injured. Those are things I’m confused about, but the technical side I think was totally fair.”
The Olympic bronze medalist, who competed with the American skating team at the 2014 Winter Olympics, made no attempt to hide her frustration, which resulted in some backlash on social media.
However, Wagner doesn’t regret her reaction.
“I have a lot of experience in this sport and I know what I consistently skate like and where I usually fall,” she said. “I’m allowed to question things, but question things only in relation to myself.”
RELATED VIDEO: Figure Skater Ashley Wagner Rips Judges After Losing Out on Team USA Placement for Olympics
She added that she’ll be fully supporting the three women who were chosen to compete for the United States in Pyeongchang next month, Bradie Tennell, Karen Chen and Mirai Nagasu — the figure skater who Wagner beat out for a spot on the Olympic team in 2014.
“I think these girls earned their spots and I’m excited to take a step back and cheer on Team USA,” she said. “I’m so passionate about this sport. I’ve been in the position where people try to take away my legitimacy for being on a team, and I would never want to do that to another athlete.”
The 2018 Games, beginning on Feb. 8, would have been Wagner’s third Olympic experience. In addition to receiving a bronze medal at the team-skating event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, she was a first alternate at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
As first alternate for Pyeongchang, Wagner said, “If that phone call comes my way, I’ll be ready to go.”