Virginia’s Ashley Wagner lands two triple-triples at first Sochi practice

February 4, 2014 E-mail the writer

It was a long day, but Ashley Wagner had spent years working toward it.

She awoke in Munich at 4 a.m., flew to Sochi, registered as a 2014 Olympian, moved into the Athletes’ Village and capped it all with a 9:30 p.m. practice — her first on Olympic ice — in which she twice completed the triple flip-triple toe combination that’s planned for her short and long programs.

“I can’t sugarcoat it: That is really what is going to make or break this competition for just about everyone in this event, so I need it to be solid,” Wagner, 22, said. “And the more I do it in practice, the better I’ll feel under pressure.”

A West Potomac graduate from Alexandria, Wagner worked on the triple-triple combination all season with an eye toward winning an Olympic medal. It tripped her up last month at U.S. Nationals, where the two-time U.S. Champion finished fourth after falling twice in her long program.

But she has made some major changes to ensure she’s steadier for the Olympics: overhauling her long program and ramping up her fitness.


A state-by-state breakdown of the 203 members of the 2014 U.S. Winter Olympic team.

Wagner will be announced Wednesday as the U.S. squad’s choice to compete her short program Saturday for the inaugural Olympic team medal, according to a source with knowledge of the selections. She declined to confirm it.

White jams wrist

Shaun White fell Tuesday and jammed his left wrist, another nagging injury on his long list of bumps and bruises, and added his name to the growing list of athletes falling victim to a treacherous slopestyle course.

“A little intimidating,” he called the course after Tuesday’s training. “It’s been a challenge.”

Through two days of practice runs, the course at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park already has taken out one of the favorites, Torstein Horgmo of Norway (broken collarbone).

Tuesday, Marika Enne of Finland fell hard and hit her head at the end of her run. She was taken off the course on a stretcher with a concussion.

“It’s frustrating to see it,” White said. “It puts a damper on the whole mood and it’s kind of like you’re getting ready to do a big trick and you see something like that. Intimidating. Unfortunate. I’m hoping the builders can make some changes and the course has a little more of a friendly vibe. But I can’t change the course. Just doing the best I can.”

As Tuesday’s training session wound down, a large cluster of snowboarders and their coaches met at the base for a discussion of what changes need to be made before qualifying begins Thursday.

“When we get to a course, nothing’s perfect,” American snowboarder Chas Guldemond said. “It’s roughed in. We test the course. We come in and tweak it. We have rider meetings. We give builders feedback and make tweaks to the course to make it safer and more usable for the riders.”

Around the Games

The Russian biathlon team hopes to replace Irina Starykh, who withdrew last week after discovering she failed a doping test in October, with world junior champion Olga Podchufarova. The IOC would have to approve the move. . . .

Gyda Enger of Norway is a late addition to the inaugural women’s ski jumping competition as a replacement for 18-year-old Canadian Alexandra Pretorius. Pretorius initially hurt her knee in August and recently aggravated the injury during training.

Sara Takanashi of Japan is the overwhelming favorite. . . .

Austrian freestyle skier Daniela Bauer lost her legal bid for selection to the Sochi Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says it dismissed Bauer’s appeal against a refusal by the Austrian Olympic committee and ski federation to nominate her for the halfpipe event.

The CAS panel says the Austrian sports bodies had “legitimate sports performance” reasons for not selecting Bauer.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

Medals
Gold Silver Bronze Total
Russian Federation 13 11 9 33
United States of America 9 7 12 28
Norway 11 5 10 26
See complete medals table
Events
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