Ashley Wagner questions why falling free skaters scored higher

Ashley Wagner performs in the women's figure skating free program Thursday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
Ashley Wagner performs in the women’s figure skating free program Thursday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
(Damien Meyer / AFP / Getty Images)

Ashley Wagner is not happy with the scores the judges gave her free skate program Thursday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

So what’s new? The expressions on her face after receiving scores following her performances in the team competition earlier in the Games and the short program Wednesday night suggested similar feelings.

But after skating cleanly in both programs of women’s figure skating competition only to finish seventh behind several skaters who fell in one or more of their programs, Wagner, who also won bronze with the U.S. in the team competition, let it all out.

Photos: Faces of the Olympic Games


After saying she felt cheated, Wagner said: “People don’t want to watch a sport where you see people fall down and somehow score above someone who goes clean. It is confusing and we need to make it clear for you.

“To be completely honest. This sport needs fans and needs people who want to watch it. People do not want to watch a sport where they see someone skate lights out and they can’t depend on that person to be the one who pulls through. People need to be held accountable.

“They need to get rid of the anonymous judging. There are many changes that need to come to this sport if we want a fan base because you can’t depend on this sport to always be there when you need it. The sport in general needs to become more dependable.”

She also suggested that the Russian skaters -- gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova and fifth-place finisher Julia Lipnitskaia -- may have benefited from home-ice advantage.

“The crowd was very supportive of the Russians so to be a Russian figure skater must have been absolutely incredible to get out there … period,” Wagner said.

She added: “I came into this event knowing pretty well that that was how it was going to go. It is not fair to the skaters who work so hard to become noticed if they are not going to have a sport that backs up what they are doing.”


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