Beautiful skater but well, things happen:
Sasha would have won 2004 Worlds under CoP.
Gracie's already shown that she can do clean 7 triples in international event. She's now US #1. No doubt about that.
They are cracking down Ashley's PCS big time. If your PCS drop by 2 points at the Olympics, the sign is on the wall.
It's over for her. The judges decided for her.
Time to apply to Georgetown while you're still hot.
As a preliminary statement I respect Wagner and the strides she's made and I wish her well. However, I agree with others that she has probably hit her peak as a skater. She may prove me wrong (she has before- I never thought she'd break through even to the level she currently is) but I think odds are strongly against it. I don't think she is DEFINITELY old to still make things happen, but I think some posters are overstating the odds of it- 23 IS old for a ladies skater, exceptions aside. Those exceptions are exceptions, and the fact that you can list 5+ people 23 and under for every one over 23 competing is not some random coincidence.
Separate from age, though, I just don't really see her going much further. It is related to age to some degree, sure... certain things I am about to list I would think she had more chance to improve is she were 15 or 16 or even 18 or 20, and the dynamic of these things is different since she surely is approaching the last potential quad of her career even if everything went ideally and she was the rare maria B who had her best few years after age 25. It is also related to politics to some degree. The USA is not going to want to keep pushing her if they have someone better to push, especially if she can't win a world medal, and it is looking like that someone better is coming on up.
But yeah, the reasons I don't see her going much further (and keeping in mind, I think where she has gotten IS IMPRESSIVE. She is at the TIPPY TOP of the second tier (or at least was for 2 whole sesaons) and that is NOT to be scoffed at, especially considering where she came from)
-International results. Stagnated, and now are declining. Could she maybe turn this around? Yes. But it would probably require the fed to be backing her 100% (which if GG can start to deliver consistently is unlikely) and would definitely require her to get more inspired and better programs.
-In keeping with this, her PCS have stagnated and declined. She is a powerful skater and technician bt if she wants to do better internationally she needs to either emote more and connect more with the audience/ music or else have programs that BRILLIANTLY disguise her artistic weaknesses.
-Triple triple. She can't rotate it fully more than 50% of the time (generous estimate really, and the callers are generous with her on it too) and it is not of a high quality even when she eeks it out. To raise above her current level she needs to start not only hitting this consistently, but hitting it BETTER.
-Spin levels. All season, the level 4's have eluded her. This is one point I do think theoretically she SHOULD be able to fix, but then why hasn't she?
Again, I have NOTHING against Wagner, even if she isn't one of my favorites. I like her better than Gracie. But I think this is a realistic assessment. If I were her, I'd retire now (or maybe after Worlds) having accomplished my goal of going to the Olympics. I don't think things will get better for her from here.
The reason I'm a bit optimistic for Ashley is that there isn't much depth in the US ladies at the moment. It isn't hard to imagine her among the top 3 nationally for at least a couple of years. I don't think she will ever medal at Worlds but it isn't out of the realm of possibility either because we sometimes see surprises on the podium (Leonova, Meissner, etc.)
Ashley is in her prime...to do a reality show.
Srsly, like many believe, I feel like her best days are over. Gold is the undisputed no.1 US lady, but I don't think that it concerns Ash.
She now has endorsements, greater recognition, and that overblown "meme" has also further increased her visibility (tho not in a good way- it overshadows her skating).
So while she may never find great success on the ice, this Sochi coverage may be a launching pad for even greater financial success elsewhere.
I could see Ashley and Gracie going back and forth as US #1 for the next season or two. Gracie's done well since the start of 2014, but let's not forget that Ashley was the clear US #1 through the GPF. I agree that Gracie will probably not lose to Ashley once the former comes closer to her potential, but I don't think Gracie is there just yet. She's still developing artistically and while she has delivered cleaner skates this year, it's still rare for her to do a long program without a major mistake. Let's see how the individual event and Worlds turn out.
That's a good point. For every Caro (and there are not many of her for sure), there's...well, too many skaters who we thought would stay for a long time but didn't.I think the best bet in ladies is to assume nothing.
ANYTHING can happen at Nationals. Nothing is a done deal, like I've been saying to those who thought she had it in the bag this year.
Like I said last season, it wasn't a matter of IF, but WHEN Gold would overtake Wagner as the US #1.
This is true. IIRC, her skate at the Oly team event is the first time she's ever done a clean FS in international comp...if she can repeat that skate in the individual event she may have a shot at a medal. Of course, depends on how she does in the SP.[Gold is] still developing artistically and while she has delivered cleaner skates this year, it's still rare for her to do a long program without a major mistake. Let's see how the individual event and Worlds turn out.
I dunno - I think Gold is competing better than she used to, and if she develops consistency, she'll leave Wagner behind probably for good. Otherwise, the door will always be open.
I'd like to see how Gold responds to being "the undisputed U.S. #1" next week in the individual event, before handing over the reins. Who knows what can happen when she's no longer the (U.S.) underdog.
^ Good point. Although I really hope she can hold it together because in my view, any US road to a medal, should any such thing open up, goes through Gold and not Wagner.
Ashley's said in the past that she wanted a 'long career', mentioning Joannie Rochette as a role model. She's never spoken about retirement though I feared she *could* drop the bomb at the end of this season, after having the Olympic dream come true. I think a Worlds medal is Ashley's unfinished business. She came very close in 2012 (and should have bumped Alena Leonova off the podium in my opinion). The consistency of Gracie Gold and Adelina Sotnikova is the unknown factor here, to have an idea as to what kind of success is possible, as well as that 3-3. Practice report are always great, and she *has* gotten credit for it a couple times this season, but it's not very consistent in competition. That could still come if she get more mileage on it (especially if it's clean in practice all the time).
I don't really expect to see her at the next Olympics, but someone mentioned 2016 Worlds in Boston.
True she could capitalize on her McKayla Marony-like fame and good looks to make money through other things than skating, but skating is what she loves and as skating fans, shouldn't we applaud that she prefers to put her ambitions on the ice?