It has been a year Ashley Wagner will never forget. Branded as the “almost girl” at the beginning of the season, the 20-year-old shrugged off that label and captured the world’s attention by winning her first national title, the Four Continents crown and a fourth-place finish at the 2012 World Championships.
But it has not been an easy ride to the top for the young American.
Wagner failed to earn a berth on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team by a breath, something she described as a heartbreaking experience. “I came so close to my dream. That was definitely one of the low points in my career,” she recalled. “I made one mistake and that kept me off the team. It was tough.
“After that I kind of had to redefine myself as a skater and decide what I wanted to do. It took a while for me to get to a place where I knew that I really did want to continue down this path.”
Originally published in June 2012