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2014 U.S. Olympic figure skating team features Ashley Wagner, Nagasu snubbed

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A Jan. 12 press conference held by U.S. Figure Skating and broadcast live online via Ice Network revealed the identities of the pairs, ice dancers and women's singles skaters named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team. The announcement brought to a close intense speculation over whether or not former U.S. champion Ashley Wagner's body of international work was good enough to overcome a disappointing fourth place finish at the Jan. 11 U.S. finals.

The two pairs chosen to compete are 2014 U.S. national champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, and Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, who claimed the silver on Jan. 11. Shnapir called it "a dream come true," and a tearful Zhang cried happy tears as Bartholomay complimented their teammates and said they were "absolutely thrilled" to make the team. Left off the team were former U.S. champions Caydee Denney and John Couglin, who finished third at nationals.

Ice dancers included on the Sochi roster include World and U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S. silver medalists Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and bronze medalists Alex and Maia Shibutani. While White said he felt he and Davis were in good position to win gold, Chock called herself "over the moon" with happiness and Alex Shibutani said he was glad to be heading to Sochi with his sister.

The most controversial decision came last, as the ladies team ultimately comprised of first-year senior Polina Edmunds, 2014 national champ Gracie Gold, and Grand Prix Final bronze medalist Wagner was revealed. Wagner, 22, who was left off the 2010 Olympic team after finishing third at nationals behind Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu, was in tears as she addressed reporters, saying "it's been a really long four years and I've been working really hard... I'm happy the federation was able to see beyond one bad skate."

The casualty for the women came in the form of Nagasu, who finished third at nationals, but was denied a spot based on other non-specified criteria.

Following the team reveal, St. Peter stated that Wagner's potential value as part of the newly implemented team competition "was not a factor" in her selection over Nagasu, nor was her good character.

The identities of the two men who will round out the 2014 U.S. Olympic figure skating team will be revealed following the men's free skate at the U.S. championships on Jan. 12.



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