US Skating Champ Hopes To Prove Her Hard Work Has Paid Off - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

US Skating Champ Hopes To Prove Her Hard Work Has Paid Off

Three years ago, figure skater Ashley Wagner finished just one spot shy of realizing her dream to compete in the Olympics. Feeling the crushing disappointment, she could have given up, believing she wasn't good enough. Instead, Wagner took those negative feelings and channeled them into something positive.

She knew she needed to work harder. Today, Wagner is looking back at the last three years; all the extra hours she practiced and all the extra weights she lifted have finally paid off. This weekend Wagner is competing in Skate America as the reigning U.S. champion and many are depending on her talent to mend America's recently less-then-perfect international figure skating reputation.

Skate America will be held in Kent, WA and begins Friday. Returning Olympic Champion Evan Lysacek, was forced to withdraw from the competition last week because of a groin injury shifting the spotlight to Wagner, who will be competing against Russia's Alena Leonova and Adelina Sotnikova among others.

Who do you think will be Ashley Wagner's biggest competition?

This story was filed and written by KHQ's Nichole Mischke. Email her at