SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Four women realistically remain in contention for selection to the 2018 Olympic figure skating team, which will be determined by a 13-member committee overnight and announced Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET on NBC's "Today.''
Newcomer Bradie Tennell topped 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu, who was passed over four years ago, for the title Friday evening by winning both the short and long programs at the national championships. Karen Chen, the 2017 national champion who spent Thursday worryingly flattened by illness, finished third, followed by veteran Ashley Wagner, the only 2014 Olympic team member left in the field.
The podium placements are only part of the selection equation, as committee members will consider elite international results from the past two seasons.
Here are reactions before what is almost certain to be a sleepless night for the quartet:
Tennell: "It's been kind of a long road. The past two years I have been injured. I was off for a total of six months between the two years. Coming into this year, my main goal was to stay healthy. I knew it was an Olympic year, and I knew somebody has to go, and I just kind of put it in the back of my mind the whole season. I put out clean programs and I relied on my training... I was a little anxious in the warmup. I could feel it. In the time I had in between the warmup and the time I skated, I used it to calm myself down. I knew I could do it. I knew what I was doing, and there was no reason for me to be nervous."
Nagasu: "I have always believed that I've been an amazing skater regardless of what the results say. I think that determination and confidence has kept me in the game this long. I'm aware that I'm the oldest here tonight, but I really feel like the comeback kid, and I cannot wait for this decision to come out because I cannot wait to be that 5-year-old little girl who began this journey."
Chen: "I must have caught a virus or something. I wasn't sure. I couldn't sleep at all after the short. I was up all night in a lot of discomfort, and all morning I was in a lot of body aches and pains everywhere. It was awful and it was not fun, but I really, really focused. I talked to my sports psychologist, I went to see my acupuncturist. I did all the steps to make sure I would feel better the next day, and I did. A lot of it was mental strength. I just kept thinking to myself I trained so hard for this moment. I have to fight. I'm going to fight. I'm going to do this. I just kept repeating that over and over again in my head until I believed it.''
Wagner: "Even though I'm mad about my score, that ("La La Land") program was such an experience for me. I skated with heart, I took a program that's a month old and I delivered something that was solid. I want to be on that Olympic team and I'm really mad that I'm in this position again. Judging is judging. I'm in a performance sport and it's an opinion-based sport. So for me it's not a bitter taste, whatever happens in this event. I delivered this program and I'm proud of what I did. I don't like this position that I'm in, and you can always say that I put myself in this spot, but I think I had some help getting there.''
Should you block ads? Adblocker