- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - Ashley Wagner is impressed.

The morning after her first performance of the Olympics, the American figure skater saw that a friend had posted a photo to her Facebook wall. It captured her sour expression after an unexpectedly low score for her short program in the team competition - and it was going viral.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is either going to be really good or really bad,’” she said Saturday. “Luckily, people thought it was funny.”

So does Wagner. Candid and outspoken, the two-time U.S. champion isn’t one to be distressed by some social media chatter. Quite the opposite.


She calls the meme “absolutely hilarious” and “one of the most awesome things that ever happened to me in my life.”

It’s figure skating’s version of “McKayla Maroney is Not Impressed,” the shot of the U.S. gymnast’s displeasure at winning silver that was the sensation of the 2012 Summer Games.

Wagner recalls finding that amusing at the time, and now she’s the subject.

“As athletes in front of a spotlight, it can literally be 0.2 seconds, and that one snapshot can say a lot about a small amount of time,” she said.

In her case, Wagner wasn’t thrilled with her marks for what had appeared to be a sharp program last Saturday. She was feeling invigorated when she came off the ice - the performance was just what she needed after falling twice in her free skate at the U.S. Championships, jeopardizing her spot on the Olympic team.

Then her score of 63.10 points popped up.

“I’m the type of person where what you see is what you get,” Wagner said. “Maybe I might be a pretty decent figure skater out on the ice, but in the kiss-and-cry, I still haven’t mastered that figure skater attitude where you sit there and smile until the bitter end.”

She also expressed her disappointment out loud, an utterance that had viewers all over America rewinding their DVRs to try some lip reading.

Wagner, who’s from Virginia, is happy to play along, tweeting out a valentine Friday with the photo and this message: “You won’t be disappointed with your score this Valentine’s Day.”

And with some time to reflect, she’s trying to fix the shortcomings that caused her score to be so low, which included two-footing the landing on a jump. Wagner and Gracie Gold spent the last several days training in Austria after helping the Americans to bronze in the team competition. The individual women’s event starts Wednesday.

Back in Sochi on Saturday, Wagner joked that she and coach Rafael Arutyunyan “are trying this new thing where you land jumps on one foot.”

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