February 21, 2014 Updated: February 21, 2014 at 9:28 am
SOCHI, Russia - American women and men failed to earn an individual medal in Olympic figure skating competition for the first time since 1936.
A high school sophomore from San Jose hopes to return Americans to the medal stand in South Korea at the 2018 Games. Polina Edmunds, who's only 15, finished ninth Thursday. She has ambitions to climb much higher.
"This experience was just amazing," she said. "It really makes me want to come back in four years and fight for a medal. I really want to be up there. I'll keep training and I know anything can happen in the next four years."
She will be battling against, and beside, her American teammates for the South Korea Games. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner showed they, too, could contend for a medal in 2018.
Gold finished fourth. Wagner overcame a disastrous performance at U.S. Nationals to finish seventh.
Edmunds overcame a fall in the free dance to score 122.21. This topped her previous best of 113.51.
"My complete mindset is I have to skate like a champion," Edmunds said, "and a champion gets back up no matter what. When I did get up, I was really happy."
Edmunds speaks softly, with only a hint of emotion.
But her ambition is evident. She wants more. She wants a medal in 2018.
"I can only get stronger from here," she said.