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Sleepless night for the U.S. ladies as they await Olympic announcement

 Ashley Wagner waits for her scores in the kiss and cry after skating in the ladies free skate during the Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden on January 11, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

It will be a long night for the U.S. ladies as they await Sunday’s decision on who will be named to the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. This year there are three spots for the ladies team and those spots typically go to the top three skaters, but it is not guaranteed.

Tonight the U.S. Figure Skating Championships ladies final concluded and capturing the gold was Gracie Gold, with newbie Polina Edmunds taking the silver and Mirai Nagasu grabbing the bronze. It was a major upset for two-time U.S. Champion, Ashley Wagner, who came in fourth.

The United States Figure Skating committee will meet and take into consideration the results of the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships along with the full international season of each of the top skaters. This is where it gets tricky. Mirai had a solid skate at the 2010 Olympic Games, just missing the podium, but she has not been skating well since then, with the exception of these national championships.

Then there is also the rookie factor when it comes to Polina Edmunds. This is her first year in the senior ranks and she has little experience on the international scene. Choosing an unproven international skater can be risky, but it can also have its advantages as a fresh face can be a game changer.

It seems like a given that Gracie Gold will have her spot on the Olympic Team after having a decent season and winning the national championships, but what about Ashley Wagner? She has had a solid season and has won the U.S. Championships the past two years in a row. Without her strong skate at the 2013 World Championships, the ladies would only have two spots on the Olympic Team instead of three.

Either way it’s going to be a tough decision for the U.S. Figure Skating committee and a heartbreak for whoever will miss their chance to become an Olympian. Stay tuned as the official announcement should be released on Sunday, January 12.

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