Four Continents

Ashley Wagner: No More the "Almost" Girl

Jay Adeff
Ashley Wagner

One hundred skaters from 17 nations descended upon Colorado Springs, Colo. for the 2012 Four Continents Championships in early February.

The competition offered up some surprising results, none more so perhaps than in the ladies event.

No one expected the results to be so close after the ladies short program, but America’s Ashley Wagner (64.07) was hot on the heels of 2010 World champion Mao Asada (64.25).

Skating second in the final free skate flight, Wagner laid down a solid performance, executing six triples and three level 4 spins.

Asada, the second-to-last skater of the evening, opened her program with an under-rotated triple Axel but went on to land
a series of jumping passes that included two triple flips.

In the end Wagner came out on top, winning her first international title with a combined total of 192.41 points over Asada’s 188.62.

“Tonight was an awesome performance for me, a personal best,
and to receive that internationally is a huge accomplishment,” Wagner said at the post-event press conference. “Both of my performances here were better than at nationals. If I can do some- thing similar to this at Worlds, I would be extremely pleased.”

Asada acknowledged at the press conference that some of her jumps were under-rotated and that she had made other mistakes. “I understand my result,” she said. “At the World Championships I want to avoid the little mistakes and minuses on my jumps.”

When asked why she had replaced the harem pants she wore earlier in the season with a dress for her short program, Asada said it was all about the triple Axel. “I’m wearing a new costume because I wasn’t able to move as freely in the old costume. It wasn’t very helpful to do the triple Axel. This new costume is the triple Axel version.”

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Originally published in April 2012