US figure skater dropped from Olympic team after ripping judges for fourth-place finish

Outspoken figure skater Ashley Wagner was not chosen to represent the United States at the Pyeongchang Olympics next month just hours after ripping into the judges’ scores at the U.S. National Championships.

The three-time U.S. champ finished in fourth place Friday night, behind Brandie Tennell, 19, Mirai Nagasu, 24, and Karen Chen, 18. The top three finishers were chosen to the U.S. team on Saturday morning.

Hours before the team was chosen, the 26-year-old Wagner ripped into the judges for the scores she received.


"I'm furious, I am absolutely furious," Wagner told the press after the championship. "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.”

Bradie Tennell, foreground, poses after winning the women's free skate event with second place finisher Mirai Nagasu, left, third place finisher Karen Chen, second from right, and fourth place finisher Ashley Wagner at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

From left to right: Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell, Karen Chen and Ashley Wagner pose with their medals. The three women, except Wagner, will be going to the Winter Olympics to represent the U.S. figure skating team.  (AP)

She continued: “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, who won a bronze medal in Sochi, said she felt she should have been selected to the Olympic team Friday night.

"I honestly think that at the end of the day, this is how I feel, and I feel like I need to stick up for myself, and I think that I delivered when I really needed to," Wagner said Friday night. "I think all these girls delivered when they needed to, but I want to be on that Olympic team and I'm really mad that I'm in this position again."


Ashley Wagner performs during the women's free skate event at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Ashley Wagner said she felt she should have been on the U.S. figure skating team.  (AP)

Wagner hit all of her early jumps but made a couple of mistakes in the second half of her "La La Land" routine she said was absolutely the right choice despite skating it for only a month.

Wagner was named the first alternate to the Olympic team if one of the women were to drop out. Tennell received first place Friday night followed by Nagasu, a U.S. champ 10 years ago and a 2010 Olympian. Chen, the defending champion, came in third place.

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are slated to begin on Friday, February 9.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.