Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner stops mid-performance, leaves ice

Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner doesn't just skate. She performs and does so with one of the most expressive faces on and off the ice.

Olympic bronze medal figure skater Ashley Wagner, who has family ties to Seabeck, Wash., says an ankle infection forced her to stop her free skate halfway into the program Sunday at the Bridgestone Skate America event in Lake Placid, NY.

It came just over a month before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships which will help determine who goes the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Wagner got nearly two minutes into her skate when she stopped performing and shook her head. She then skated to the judge's table where she told them she was withdrawing.


As she walked off the ice, there was a noticeable limp.

Wagner, fighting back tears, said focusing on the Olympics was the reason she chose to end her program early rather than keep skating in pain.

"As an athlete, it's the toughest decision to pull yourself out of something," Wagner said. "My goal is nationals, and that's what I'm here to do."

Wagner said it was the first time she's withdrawn from a competition.

"I'm a competitor through and through and to just not be the competitor that I want to be, it's really tough, and it breaks my heart. But I'm not in that position right now because I'm in pain and I just have to accept that, and I have to go home and get better first, and then I can start working towards nationals," Wagner said.

Wagner expanded on her thoughts in an Instagram post.

"A little over a week ago I was diagnosed with an ankle infection inside of my right foot. I came into this event mentally willing myself to push through this, but every step I took on the ice was shooting nauseating pain into my body. After my first axel, the padding on my foot shifted and pressure was put directly onto my injury. I tried to fight through the next two jumps. Sometimes, you have to take yourself out of the shoes of an athlete and put yourself into the shoes of a professional. My goal is to be national champion. My goal is to make it to the Olympics the way I want to."

 

This is a post I don’t really know how to write. A little over a week ago I was diagnosed with an ankle infection inside of my right foot. I came into this event mentally willing myself to push through this, but every step I took on the ice was shooting nauseating pain into my body. After my first axel, the padding on my foot shifted and pressure was put directly onto my injury. I tried to fight through the next two jumps. Sometimes, you have to take yourself out of the shoes of an athlete and put yourself into the shoes of a professional. My goal is to be national champion. My goal is to make it to the Olympics the way I want to. I’m the only one in control of this destiny and I have proven time and time again that I am a fighter. I weighed my options with a very heavy heart, and decided it was best for me to stop trying to prove to everyone how strong I am, and accept that I needed to heal. My heart is heavy and I know that I have so much more to offer as an athlete. Thanks to the amazing staff at @usfigureskating for supporting me through this. Thanks to Raf for standing by my decision. Thank you to everyone out there sending their love my way. I feel it and it’s because of all of you and your support that I know I will come back stronger than ever and be the fighter I know I am.

A post shared by Ashley Wagner (@ashwagner2010) on

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships are Dec. 29 - Jan. 7. The U.S. will get three spots in the ladies' division to go to the Olympics.

Wagner won bronze in the team competition at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

Join the Olympics Fans of the PNW Facebook page to track all our northwest Olympians on the road to the Games

 

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