Ashley Wagner knew that 2014 would be a whirlwind year. In February, she made her Winter Olympics debut in Sochi, Russia. After a month stateside, Wagner jets to Tokyo this week for the World Figure Skating Championships. Following its conclusion, the 22-year-old heads back to the U.S. to perform in "Stars On Ice," which begins April 4 in Fort Myers, Florida.
But in addition to training for competition and performance, Wagner also found herself preparing on the fly to handle celebrity status. A photo of the figure skater's reaction to the judges' scores of her first Olympic skate became an Internet meme; Wagner's expression suggested she was not a big fan of their opinions.
"I had no idea that my face became a meme until one of my friends posted on my Facebook wall some BuzzFeed article about me," Wagner said via telephone. "So I think in this day and age, social media is crazy, and the doors it opens up for athletes is amazing."
While Wagner did not expect Internet fame following the games, her parents were not surprised by their daughter's reaction to the judges.
"What you see is what you get with me," she admitted. "I'm feisty, and I have a lot of personality so it was pretty much just a big eye roll for my family. They said, 'Ashley, you need to keep yourself out of trouble!'"
Wagner left Sochi with a Bronze medal for her efforts. She rejoins a U.S. team in Japan this week that is looking to defend its Gold medal from last year's World Championships.
The two-time national champion called my radio show to promote "Stars On Ice." "Ralphie Tonight" is heard weeknights on 95.5 PLJ in New York. The full interview airs Monday night.
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