Despite finishing in third-place at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston this weekend, 20-year-old Mirai Nagasu will not compete in Sochi.
Nagasu was snubbed by U.S. Figure Skating selection committee, which gave the third and final Olympic spot to Ashley Wagner — a heavily promoted skater who fell at the Championships and finished a distant fourth.
“I’m disappointed in the decision. Though I may not agree with it, I have to respect the decision the federation made,” Nagasu told USA Today after the decision was made.
Historically, the U.S. Championships have determined who makes the Olympic team. Since 1994, the only skater to make the Olympic team without finishing in the top-3 at the Championships is Michelle Kwan in 2006, who missed the event due to injury.
It’s an unprecedented decision, but it’s well within the rules.
There’s nothing that says U.S. Championship results must determine Olympic team selection. USFS takes “body of work” into consideration when making selections for the Olympic team.
Wagner has probably been the country’s best skater since 2012. She won gold at the 2013 U.S. Championships, and won silver at the Grand Prix 2012-13 Grand Prix finals.
Nagasu, despite placing fourth at the 2010 Olympics, has been off the map for the last few years.
So if you base the decision on the last 24 months, USFS made the fair decision. The problem is that it has treated the U.S. Championships as a de facto qualifier for the last 20 years, only to switch things up when the most popular skater finished outside the top-3.
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