Ashley Wagner wasn’t happy with her score (63.10), but it was good enough to put her in fourth place in the ladies’ part of the team figure skating competition at Sochi.
The figure skater with Seabeck ties is Kitsap’s closest connection to the 2014 Winter Olympics. Her parents Eric and Melissa Wagner were Central Kitsap graduates, and her grandfather, Mike James, was the park superintendent at Scenic Beach State Park in Seabeck for 35 years. Eric’s military career took the family around the globe and Ashley describes herself as a military brat, but she considers Seabeck her home. She spent most of her summers there.
“It’s the one place that we’ve always gone back to, no matter what,” she told Meri-Jo Borzilleri, a freelance writer who profiled Wagner for The Sun prior to the 2010 national championships in Spokane. “I always knew it would be there, I knew people from there, I had friends from there, family. It was just one place that was always familiar. And that’s why I call it home.”
Her family and friends in Seabeck are, no doubt, proud as the can be.
Wagner’s making her first Olympic appearance and the two-time national champion got there after falling twice and finishing fourth at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Her selection caused quite an uproar. She might not have been happy with her score, but her performance was solid and proved that she deserved to be there.
So, afterward, she naturally found herself being asked about redemption more than a few times, that having become the theme of the evening.
“To the people who doubted I belonged on this team, yes,” she said. “But really it was more about proving to myself that I could get beyond that competition and that I wasn’t a nervous wreck and that I was that strong, hard-headed competitor that I know that I am and that my mother has been dealing with for 22 years, so that was good for me.”