Ashley Wagner says she is "absolutely furious" at the judges' scoring but is "going home proud" after failing to make the Winter Olympics figure skating team.
The three-time national champion and 2016 world silver medalist finished in fourth place at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday, effectively crushing her dream of representing the United States in the Olympics at the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.
"I'm furious, I am absolutely furious," Wagner, who has competed in the Olympics before, told reporters. "I know when I go and I lay it down and I absolutely left one jump on the table, but for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition as solid as I skated and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so."
"I am a performer and that second mark is just not there," she said. "I am absolutely OK with them being strict on my rotations. That's what I think that U.S. Figure Skating should demand of their judges but it needs to be across the board. I don't necessarily feel like it's been that way at this event, so we'll see how things pan out."
She later tweeted on Saturday morning, "As an athlete, I'm allowed to be mad. As a senior competitor with over 10 years of experience, I'm allowed to question things. At the end of the day, I laid out my best and I'm going home proud! Congrats to the lovely ladies of the team, you've got me in your cheering squad now! Lastly Twitter, before you eat me alive, don't forget there is a real person on the other end of your tweets."
Wagner had competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. There, she finished seventh in the women's singles competition and won a bronze medal with her team.
At Friday's U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she had skated to music from La La Land for her free skate routine and had scored a total of 196.19. 2017 national champion Karen Chen came in third place with 198.59—less than three points more.
In addition to Chen, first place winner Bradie Tennell and Mirai Nagasu, who won the silver medal, will also represent the United States at the Olympics. Wagner, who received a pewter medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, is the first alternate.