Ashley Wagner and fellow ice princess Gracie Gold were “at each other’s throats” during the competition, apparently. Following a year of so-so skates in which she told NBC Sports she felt “people were starting to write me off,” Ashley Wagner took the gold medal in the Women’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships over the weekend — her third win at the nationals, and one at which she broke records for both the highest free skate and overall total scores.
At the ripe old age of 23, skating grandma Wagner becomes the oldest winner at the U.S. Championships since 2005, when skating legend Michelle Kwan won for the last time. “Of my three titles, [this] is the one that tastes the sweetest,” Wagner told NBC. “I’ve had so many critics over the past couple of months. I’ve had so many people who said I’m too old for this, I am burnt out. [But] I was able to turn all this negativity into something positive.”
Considered Wagner’s biggest competition for the gold, Gracie Gold ended in second place. She fell once during her free skate, and later said it was tough to follow Wagner’s performance and the standing ovation from the audience it warranted. “We’ve been at each other’s throats raising the bar,” she added, presumably only in a fun and lively competitive athlete context.
The bronze medal went to 15-year-old Karen Chen, making her the youngest medalist at the U.S. Championships in over a decade also.
In the men’s skate, gold, silver, and bronze medals went to Jason Brown, Adam Rippon, and Joshua Farris respectively. Here are their best intense skating faces, because isn’t that always fun?
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