Ashley Wagner Cheer Thread #3: The Subject of Tonight's Lecture...

Sylvia

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Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner is set to headline the Skating Club of Boston’s Frog Pond Skating Spectacular at First Night on New Year’s Eve, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A world silver medalist and three-time US champion, she will be joined by members of the Skating Club, Team Excel Synchronized Skating, and more. Wagner spoke to the Globe ahead of the event about the skating spectacular, moving to Boston, and her future plans.
Q&A published before Xmas: https://www.boston.com/culture/lifestyle/2018/12/23/olympian-ashley-wagner-to-headline-first-night-skating-spectacular

Ashley will perform in the Stars on Ice show in Lake Placid tonight. She tried a lift with Jeremy during rehearsal: https://www.instagram.com/p/Br50_AmAk9h/

https://www.boston.com/culture/lifestyle/2018/12/23/link
 

kalle

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I miss Ashley's skating too.. There are only a handful skaters these days that really manage to captivate the audience and Ashley had that capability in the later part of her career. I so wish she would go for another season just to finish on her own terms but it seems she is slowly but surely drifting over to other endeavors in her life. I am still grateful as a fan to re watch my favorite program of hers; Exogenesis, Romeo and Juliet, Samson and Delilah, Black Swan and of course Moulin Rouge! I was never a big fan of her SP's except that Pollock program which was great back in the days !
 

aftershocks

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A new article about Ashley and her feelings and life since not making the Olympic team. I can’t believe that was almost a year ago!

https://www.ifsmagazine.com/ashley-wagner-on-the-road-to-recovery/
"Though Wagner is proud of her accomplishments and longevity in the sport, she realized that competing at the elite level for more than a decade had taken its toll. 'Skating is incredible for so many reasons, and I have been at the elite level as one of the top U.S. ladies — if not the top U.S. lady — for about a decade,' Wagner said. 'When you’ve been at that level as long as I have, you also get tired — emotionally tired, physically tired. I was exhausted from years of that pressure on my shoulders, from competing in the sport.'

'In the final months of last season, I was so incredibly unhappy. I was stressed out; I had too much on my plate and I was doing everything by myself. My life just became work. Work happened to be skating, and it really affected my relationship with the sport... I said I gotta turn this big ole lemon into lemonade... I don't think I really started to push myself into a better place until I moved out of California... I packed up and moved [to Boston]... I love this city so much... and I love the life I am creating for myself... Now when I go to the rink and get on the ice, it's my choice... It's getting me really excited about the sport again...'"

This makes so much sense. I'm glad Ashley found a professional who was able to give her tools she could use to cope better and to feel better. I'm so sorry to hear about her cat being hit by a car. I knew she lost a pet, but I didn't know the details. These days, it's best that cats aren't allowed to roam outside on their own.
 
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aftershocks

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Sylvia

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Awesome seeing Ashley live in Boston tonight! She performed her Pink number. No jumps. It started to rain/snow right as she came on. She was such a good sport about it. Gosh I miss her competing. She may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she really has something special.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DvyJEswWkAIs8CF?format=jpg&name=large
Thanks for sharing! 2 photos of Ashley being interviewed on New Year's Eve (I haven't come across any video clips so far):
https://twitter.com/ChrisGNBCBoston/status/1079869072370749440
https://twitter.com/FrogPondBoston/status/1079868000365395968

She published a blog post on the topic of anxiety today: https://www.theashwagner.com/blog/2018/12/4/real-talk-anxiety
 

aftershocks

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She published a blog post on the topic of anxiety today: https://www.theashwagner.com/blog/2018/12/4/real-talk-anxiety
Thanks for sharing the link, and thanks to Ash for baring her feelings and trying to help others. Sometimes (although it's often hard to accept), going through terrible experiences can have an upside, especially if you can get to a place where you can share with others or do something creative as therapy (such as painting, drawing, writing poetry, making crafts, etc). What Ashley went through in her last season and the grace with which she's dealing with the aftermath is instructive and uplifting. Not making the team and not winning medals does not mean an athlete has lost -- in fact Ashley has gained and so have those who support her in her journey, and those who are learning from her journey.

On reflection, Ashley dealing with the pain of her difficult season and the final result at Nationals after which she didn't know what to do next reminds me somewhat of MK after SLC (her second try for gold which didn't happen). It is MK's exhibition to Fields of Gold which will always be remembered, much more-so than any of the ladies' competitive performances at the 2002 Olympics. Also, at Nagano in 1998, we ultimately learned important lessons from MK not winning gold. She made a difference through winning silver and accepting the result with grace and a fire in her belly that made her never give up. MK won and continues to win the hearts of fans around the world on every step of her remarkable journey. May Ashley do the same.

Other anxiety-reducing suggestions: Thai traditional massage, or even self-massage; yoga (on a mat or even in a chair); listen to soothing music and to sounds of water, i.e. the ocean; aromatherapy (lavender and/or eucalyptus are great), also boil a cinnamon stick and breathe in the scent; practice conscious deep breathing; find something to do or watch that makes you laugh; do something creative such as painting or writing poetry; connect with positive people; take the time to genuinely smile when greeting other people during the day; create rituals, and also make an effort to change-up your daily routine every so often so as to not fall into a rut.

Binge-watch Marie Kondo's new Netflix series based on her books: The Magic of Tidying Up, and Spark Joy. :encore:
 

Chris_E

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According to her Instagram story, Ashley will be on the Ice Desk covering 4CC.
I watched the Ladies coverage from Ice Desk and enjoyed the commentary from all the panelists. Ashley is doing a great job and holding her own, hoping for a lot more of these opportunities for her!

Link to youtube for anyone who wants to watch.
 

Sylvia

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Bumping this up (originally posted in the Canadian Pairs & U.S. Ladies threads in GSD):

If any of you are interested, I am part of a Goodtalk with Ashley Wagner and Eric Radford today [April 4, 2019] at 5PM Pacific.
https://goodtalk.app/talk/rtiji8
ETA: A transcript can be read at the link above.

How does one access the Ice Desk?
Belatedly, here are the 2019 4CC Ice Desk videos with Ashley:

Ladies Short Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdYcTm3sJbg
Ladies Short Wrap-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4IovzQhHu8
Wake Up FOUR CONTINENTS (Day 2) previewing Ladies FS with McCarvel: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/watch/?Archive=457
Mid-Ladies Free Skate: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/watch/?Archive=458
Ladies Free Wrap-up: https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/watch/?Archive=459
 
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aftershocks

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The famous, but now dead-horse 'sonogram' quip was recently cluelessly revived by TA in U.S. ladies thread. It's more relevant to this thread:

There was nothing "evil" implied. Wagner was saying that she was competing with skaters who were in the womb when she started to compete seriously. It wasn't that much of an exaggeration when she said it.
I always thought the sonograms comment was made because everyone in the media always asked her about being old compared to everyone else. I thought it was funny. 🤷‍♀️
Right. Ashley was constantly being asked again and again and again about younger competitors, especially younger Russian ladies competitors. I appreciate her attempt to brush off the relentless media queries with a try for humor. But some Ashley haters are relentless in making mountains out of molehills, ad infinitum.

Wagner used the term "sonograms" to describe "young russian girls", not "all junior girls". Her comment is gone from the internet, or not easy to find, except from this website, where they use Wagner's phrase in their text.
https://fs-gossips.com/us-nationals-2016-review-ladies/
"The main problem of all American top girls is that they can deliver a great performance only when it’s already nothing to loose, when is no expectations, or when they already had a bad a short program. And you can’t win Worlds (or a medal there) with such a mindset! With such an attitude Russian sonograms (c) will jump over you and won’t even notice." ...
You are direct quoting the comments of a reviewer from the old FS Gossip article you linked. The exact quote and context of Ashley's response (and the press query) are not included in the source you linked. But anyone who was following skating at the time and read the original reference should have sense enough to understand the humorous intent, and the fact that Ashley also praised the technical prowess of her competitors.

Being repeatedly asked about Russian baby ballerina phenoms can become tedious. So, on one particular occasion, Ashley responded with the humorous, tongue-in-cheek reference to her young competitors as 'sonograms.' The context and meaning was humorous, not derogatory nor dismissive toward her younger rivals. Any dismissiveness you might interpret was actually being directed by Ashley toward the journalists' repeated, broken-record queries. And in turn, the reference was also a bit of self-mocking by Ash for the way she was always being labeled 'old' despite being in her early twenties. :duh:

What's getting way old and not so funny about now is your repeated trotting out of this 'dead horse' incident/ humorous quip. :rolleyes:

A lot of those accomplishments were in fact products of their youth. Sot, Tuk, Lip and Rad emerged as jump machines during Ashley's peak times and while they all had moments of utter brillance in competition, they lost their consistencies once they grew / bodies changed. Same can be said about the last batch of 'sonograms' (Meissner, Zhang, Flatt, Nagasu). None had the longeivity that Ashley had.

I believe Ashley was extremely proud to have been the lady in a sea of girls and to have a decent level of longeivity near the top. The only others who were close were Leonova, and also Tuk and Nagasu who weren't consistent but have had recent comebacks.
But of the U.S. ladies you name in opposition to Ashley Wagner, Kimmie Meissner is a year-and-a-half older than Ashley. Meissner did not hang around very long competitively because of injuries. Meissner came up to seniors before Nagasu, Flatt, Zhang and Wagner. Also, let's be honest that Mirai Nagasu ended up having some serious comeback longevity and ultimately her own modicum of success. While I agree with the gist of your post, let's please understand that Nagasu, Flatt, and Zhang are all contemporaries of Wagner's. This U.S. group of 'sonograms' which includes Wagner, were on the U.S. scene before the whole Russian 'baby ballerina' BS rose up like a faux phoenix. Ashley Wagner indeed was once an understudy to two prized U.S. 'baby ballerinas.' :p

Further context: Ashley Wagner is only about a year and two months older than Rachael Flatt. And Wagner is two years older than Caroline Zhang and Mirai Nagasu. At 2007 U.S. Nationals, Nagasu and Zhang at ages 13 (soon to be 14) were 1 and 2 in junior ladies, while some fans likely forget that Ashley Wagner at age 15 (soon-to-be 16) placed 3rd behind Nagasu and Zhang. The latter two ladies were heavily touted and over-exposed by U.S. fed and the media, immediately after that competition. Meanwhile, Ashley (as 2007 U.S. junior ladies bronze medalist) would eventually become more competitively successful in seniors, despite the fact she was never seen as having Zhang's and Nagasu's level of overall talent. :D Nor was Ashley ever singled out as charmed U.S. fed favorite in the way that Rachael Flatt was for a brief period of time.

Ashley Wagner had her own unique measure of talent as a figure skater, even though it was not overly shiny and outsized. Therefore, Ashley learned that she was the person who had to nurture and maximize her talent. She had to believe in herself and convince renowned coaches that she was worth investing their time in. And even after succeeding against the odds, Ashley had to continue proving herself vs every new U.S. fed fave who shined bright like a diamond. Ashley had to endure and become the sapphire amidst sparkly shooting star diamonds.* Ashley had to pull herself up by her bootstraps and Ash Swag herself to the top by dint of her own desire and hard work. In remarkable fashion, Ashley accomplished these feats and then some by taking her career into her own hands after being written off by TPTB as the also-ran 'almost girl' circa 2010 U.S. Nationals. :kickass:

* "A diamond is about the brilliance, fire and scintillation. It is about the sparkle and the light that gets reflected back to the viewer's eye. A sapphire however is more about its inherent body color. It is about looking at the beautiful color and enjoying it for what it is."

Some people have never enjoyed Ashley Wagner for who she is, for her beauty, for her endurance, and for her stellar, self-made career.
 

aftershocks

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Another clueless Ash Wagner pile-on broke out in U.S. ladies thread, in response to @Marco's above-linked comments:

Right, let's ignore the hard-work, injuries, and personal sacrifices these athletes had to make to achieve their success, even at a young age. You can choose to marginalize these athletes all you want. You can make the choice to denigrate their accomplishments. You can make the choice to disrespect these athletes by failing to acknowledge everything else that went into their success.

Heck, you can even choose to continue to hold up "mature" skaters like Ashley Wagner on a pedestal, as if she was some paragon of "mature" skating. Meanwhile, you can choose to ignore her lack of skating skills, her poor spins and continuous carelessness when it comes to levels, her inconsistent jumps, and vastly empty programs.
All figure skating athletes should be admired for working hard, for daring to dream, and for taking a huge leap of faith. True fans of figure skating understand just how difficult a sport it is. But [to paraphrase part of Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech] it's each and every figure skating athlete to whom the 'credit belongs for being in the arena valiantly sweating blood [and shedding tears in pursuit of] the triumph of high achievement.' Us critics of all stripes ultimately do not count, especially not those of us who are 'cold and timid souls [blathering on the sidelines while] neither knowing victory nor defeat' in the athletic arena.

TBH, the Russian ladies should all be respected for what they have to go through in a different sports culture. For the most part, they are all amazingly technically proficient, at least in consistent rotating prowess, since not all possess the most durable and efficient technical skills, despite being able to jump lights out. What I dislike is the knee-jerk over-rewarding of many young Russian phenoms on PCS, which began in earnest during the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics, and has only become more set-in-stone since.

That said, your post is actually a 'denigrating' pile-on against Ashley Wagner. So in effect, you are doing in reverse the same thing you accuse others of doing. :p

Bottom line take-away: Ashley Wagner has always respected her competitors and given them their due credit. If you don't believe me, ask them. I'm sure they will all set you 'Ashley hates her competitors' critics straight. :lol:

Also, do you still not get the fact that Ash Wagner was not born 'a mature old-lady' figure skater? :drama: And the only pedestal she's ever been placed on has been the one she kickass created for herself!

Sigh, is it even possible for fans to be more thoughtful and reflective in how we view figure skating, if not in how we read each other's posts. :COP:
 

Fiero425

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Michelle Kwan had to go thru the same media swarm; esp. about her age & hanging on those last few years! :shuffle:
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Another clueless Ash Wagner pile-on broke out in U.S. ladies thread, in response to @Marco's above-linked comments:



All figure skating athletes should be admired for working hard, for daring to dream, and for taking a huge leap of faith. True fans of figure skating understand just how difficult a sport it is. But [to paraphrase part of Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech] it's each and every figure skating athlete to whom the 'credit belongs for being in the arena valiantly sweating blood [and shedding tears in pursuit of] the triumph of high achievement.' Us critics of all stripes ultimately do not count, especially not those of us who are 'cold and timid souls [blathering on the sidelines while] neither knowing victory nor defeat' in the athletic arena.

TBH, the Russian ladies should all be respected for what they have to go through in a different sports culture. For the most part, they are all amazingly technically proficient, at least in consistent rotating prowess, since not all possess the most durable and efficient technical skills, despite being able to jump lights out. What I dislike is the knee-jerk over-rewarding of many young Russian phenoms on PCS, which began in earnest during the lead-up to the 2014 Olympics, and has only become more set-in-stone since.

That said, your post is actually a 'denigrating' pile-on against Ashley Wagner. So in effect, you are doing in reverse the same thing you accuse others of doing. :p

Bottom line take-away: Ashley Wagner has always respected her competitors and given them their due credit. If you don't believe me, ask them. I'm sure they will all set you 'Ashley hates her competitors' critics straight. :lol:

Also, do you still not get the fact that Ash Wagner was not born 'a mature old-lady' figure skater? :drama: And the only pedestal she's ever been placed on has been the one she kickass created for herself!

Sigh, is it even possible for fans to be more thoughtful and reflective in how we view figure skating, if not in how we read each other's posts. :COP:
What Ash drama am I missing out on.

They can say whatever they want about her but she forever has my respect for what she said about gay rights before going into anti-gay Sochi. She was the only one... while others (and probably closeted gay skaters) said nadda. Good for her!!!
 

Wyliefan

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kittyjake5

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Good for Ashley for pursing her education and at Harvard no less.
Wishing Ashley much success! She is looking fabulous in that photo!
 

skatfan

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Ashley's attending the "Crossover into Business" program, designed specifically for athletes, at Harvard Business School:

That's great for her, but let's say that I am pretty sure that they are not doing the same curriculum as the other students, which requires pretty advanced mathematics and statistics knowledge.
 

Wyliefan

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That's probably true, and that's fine. Sounds like the program is geared toward the practical stuff that she and the other athletes need. I'm glad they have a program like that.
 

skatfan

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That's probably true, and that's fine. Sounds like the program is geared toward the practical stuff that she and the other athletes need. I'm glad they have a program like that.
True. As long as they don’t claim they have Harvard MBAs.
 

kittyjake5

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Who would claim to have a Harvard MBA if they don't, Ashley?? I am confused. :confused:

In Ashley's Instagram she clearly says "semester" I don't see any mention of an MBA.
 

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