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Gazette Premium Content No poker face with U.S. skater Ashley Wagner

By David Ramsey Updated: February 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

SOCHI, Russia - Everyone wanted to talk about The Face.

You probably saw Ashley Wagner's world-class scowl when she discovered her score in team figure skating competition. Skaters usually act happy, or at least satisfied, after their scores are revealed. They may be enraged. They may be baffled. They may be plotting revenge.

But they keep their true feelings largely to themselves.

At least that's the norm.

Wagner's dismay became an international sensation.

"I thought it was pretty hilarious," Wagner said of the scowl seen around the world. "I really did."

The response to the scowl was overwhelming, Wagner said.

"It was mixed but mostly pretty positive," she said.

PHOTOS: Sochi Olympic Games Day 12

Wagner had recently been involved in a more substantial controversy. She almost didn't make this trip to Russia.

In a highly disputed decision, the U.S. Figure Skating Association picked Wagner over Mirai Nagasu for a place on the Olympic team. This choice came after Wagner's disastrous performance at the national championship in Boston. Nagasu finished third at the U.S. Nationals in Boston, but was not given the third spot on the team.

Wagner finished fourth, but will be competing for a medal in Russia. She was given a spot on the team because of previous performances in international competition.

"She and I are pretty good friends," Wagner said of Nagasu. "It's tough to kind of not redefine your friendship, but figure out kind of where to go from there."

Wagner made it clear that Nagasu has encouraged her.

"She's an incredible part of my support system," Wagner said. "Hearing her tell me, 'I'm cheering you on, go for it,' that was really all I needed."

Wagner competes Wednesday and Thursday.

-

Twitter: @davidramz

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