Ashley Wagner just gave an example of true sportsmanship.
“We just need to adjust my physical shape and mental shape to see if the program can be salvaged for the rest of the year,” Gracie shared with press after the program. “It’s just something I’ve struggled with this whole year and in previous seasons. It’s just difficult when you’re trying to do the difficult triple jumps. It’s something that I am addressing but it’s obviously not where it should be for this caliber of competition.”
“I would have to say every athlete has that one Mount Everest that they have to climb,” Ashley added afterwards. “For me, it was deciding to leave my house and take my skating over for myself. That was my biggest challenge and that’s what turned me into the athlete I am today. For her [Gracie], I think that losing that world title was devastating for her, understandably, because she had it and then the next day, she didn’t. The hardest part about all of this is you see someone struggling and hurting and no one can help her right now except for herself. It’s going to be her having enough and getting herself out of it. I think that we have a very supportive federation and everyone is doing their best to give her the tools that she needs to get through this. But it’s going to come down to her wanting to use them and getting ready to let go.”
Ashley added, “You know, at the end of the day, a person’s a person and you see them in pain, you want to do whatever you can to help out. We’re not very close but I think she’s a sweet girl and I think that she just kind of needs to find a way to push through this. She’s an awesome athlete and I respect her so much for what she is capable of. This is not the end of Gracie, I know that for a fact.”
To all my fans and friends. Thank you for the concern you have voiced. My comments in the mixed zone were spoken in the heat of emotion. To clarify, I feel that my results this far in the season are a result of my decision to live a more "normal life" this past summer. I traveled and really took time off from being an elite athlete. For a figure skater, there is an ideal body weight for top performance. It's different for each athlete. That doesn't mean scary skinny, but rather a lean, wiry composition. I realize that I am at a healthy weight and I am rapidly regaining the strength and tone I desire. I just started back a little later than I needed to for peak fitness in October. In reading Christine Brennan's story I realize that I came across pretty negatively. In fact, rather than being unhappy with my programs, I think they are the best I've ever had! I remain committed to my sport and quest for World and Olympic success.