I was pleasantly surprised by how self aware Ashley is. She know her flaws as an skater and has work on them. I like how she did not pretend and say I skate only for the experience, she wants to win, as every skater. Ashley is not my favorite, but if she put in the work and was rewarded for it good for her.
Her candor was great and refreshing in this interview.I suppose this time around they could have sent Ashley to Worlds, but considering that both Mirai and Rachael had done stunningly at the Olympics, the USFSA probably felt pretty secure with their decision. Too bad the two of them didn't get equivalent results at Worlds.
Finally time to take the kid gloves off and get to see how these skaters really think.
As for Worlds that year, the major black mark against her (IMO) was how poorly she did in 2008. I think it would have actually been a mistake to send Wagner to 2010 worlds over either Nagasu or Flatt (considering the latter's 5th place finish last year). Too bad Nagasu tanked but at least she stayed in the top 10. But it's completely understandable that Wagner "felt" that she might have deserved the trip based on her results that season and THAT'S the type of honesty I appreciate from skaters. Whether I agree or not is beside the point- I just respect them more for coming out and saying it.
Yeah, not a fan of his at all. I'll be honest- his "tabloid" type style of talking/reporting is a complete turnoff and sours TSL in my eyes. I'll give him a little credit though- he does ask good questions of the guests on occasion.I agree that Dave is a little bit of a brown noser-meets-know it all sometimes but I guess he's just such a big fan of the sport that with all the research and his connections, it can be a little overbearing. Jenny on the other hand (when a little more focused) is gold. She is definitely the better of the two, which is funny because Dave is the supposed journalist!
It is so funny she mentioned that...because I think THAT's the exact audience this type of show targets! It's like, "in your face!!"It seems he is there to try and get gossip/filler to appeal to the crazy cat ladies Ashley mentioned.
Wagner? Anyway she comes across to me as confident without being cocky. She knows what she wants, isn't afraid to admit it (for the most part), and goes for it.This was why I was turned off by her when I met her. She gave off this air that she deserved this and that. Her interview just showed exactly what I was talking about.
Yes, there were sections of the interview that bored me. Mainly because I'm just not into the gossip stuff (and frankly she fits right in with the two of them- this is not a diss) . But the parts about why she made the choices she did were quite revealing, I thought, and made the interview worth watching/sitting through.
I found myself wishing I was there so I could ask her some follow-up questions of my own...hopefully Jenny and/or Dave think to ask at least some of them in part 2...
Sorry, I can't hop on board with the Dave-hate! I think he has some quite perceptive & interesting things to say (when not gossiping). For example, recently he & Jenny were discussing Gracie and her artistry. And they were trying to analyze just what is lacking. Jenny said Gracie needed to "connect her soul" to the programs. And Dave commented that although there's nothing WRONG with Gracie's positions or movements, she just lacks that polish & finish that we expect of our American ice queens, and I very much agree. I also loved his point this week about a problem with current skating coverage (I think on Universal Sports & IceNetwork). He pointed out that oftentimes, cameras show the skaters' performance, then skip straight to the kiss 'n cry, without showing the skater as they're coming off the ice and interacting with coaches. Thus we miss seeing the skaters' and coaches' initial reactions, which can reveal much. I think he is so right about this, and it IS one reason that we're not getting to know these skaters as we did in the past.
Anyway, I enjoyed the Ashley interview, she was pretty open and candid! I was amazed that she just came out and admitted she's not a naturally graceful or "artistic" skater! I wouldn't have thought any skater would have been willing to admit that! It actually makes her progress in that area more impressive. I enjoyed her comments about Mr. Nicks and what he's like as a coach. Was especially interested to hear that he focuses a lot on polishing and refining the programs--as she said, finding those special "accent" moments to really reach out to the audience. None of this surprised me, as I feel this is the area where Ashley has improved most since joining him (that & jump consistency). What Nicks has given Ashley is a sense of phrasing in her skating; he has helped her bring out the max in her programs by finding the low & high points and building a narrative and really emphasizing the dramatic points. Prior to him, Ashley just plowed through programs with everything at the same pace. She wasn't really feeling and expressing the different shades of the music. Now she does this very well. (And I think this is also exactly what Gracie needs.)
Anyway, I like the opportunities TSL offers for us to actually hear from skaters and coaches in way more detail than a soundbite...looking forward to more.
Part Two of TSL's Interview with Ashley Wagner (46:09 in length)
Published on Jul 25, 2013
The first half of 2013 was not the easiest time in Ashley Wagner's life. After narrowly defending her national title, she endured a public split with Philip Mills and the semi-retirement of John Nicks. With the Olympic season approaching, Ashley Wagner opens up about her triple-triple woes, new programs, her reaction to Philip Mills' infamous tweet and the impact of social media.
FWIW I agree with emma; I thought the "cat ladies who just say your legs are fat" (or whatever the exact words were) example was just a generic or generalized example, not a specific one, to say that she was reasonably open to even Jenny's and Dave's harshest words because of their knowledge of and passion for skating, moreso than she would be (and rightly so IMO) to comments from a random person with no knowledge or background just evaluating her body features.
I was impressed with Ashley overall; though in some ways her persona and mannerisms are a little young for her age, I really do think that comes from all the social media-ing we as a population do. I use a lot more youthtful slang than I should because I am exposed to it on discussion boards and forums, and a lot of the active "interwebz" users are younger, not to mention the general casualness of speech and mannerisms used in social media. But darn, the young woman really did endure just blow after blow in terms of her training and support systems right before probably the most critical season of her career, and I have to express my admiration (see, I started to write "give her props" and changed it) for the way she is trying to find new alternatives and keep moving forward positively and with great focus.
Also, whereas I do think it was wishful thinking on her part, I wasn't offended by her comments about wishing she had been named to the World team in 2010. She didn't sound hugely entitled to me, just heartbroken that the outcome of her season didn't come close in her mind to matching what she felt she had put on the ice overall during the entire course of the season.
Anyway, this extended interview has made me a fan. As I said, Ashley really has met some huge pre-season challenges with a great deal of maturity and tried to be positive and keep moving forward despite losing much of her coaching staff and even facing some loss of personal support, too (she mentioned a breakup, plus continuing to live far away from family). I don't think I would have been that coolheaded in the face of that many upheavals at age 22.
I like her honesty in her answers. I hate her delusion in some of her answers. But you can only gauge that when she honestly tells you what she thinks.
Anyway, good luck to her and her 3x3. I think with 3x3, she's in a 4th place at the Olympics. Without 3x3, she can fall back as low as 9th. There are quite a few girls who can beat her if they skate clean. Akiko, Kanako, Adelina, Liza, Gracie, Kaetlyn.
I am glad Ashley is so aware of how close Gracie is of becoming US #1
Has Gracie ever come out and said "look look, this is the Gold lutz?" If she did, I'm annoyed by Gracie. If she didn't, I'm annoyed by Ashley for dragging Gracie into something that has nothing to do with anything.