From sport to business to education, any human accomplishment requires dedication and focus. These attributes, in turn, are used to cultivate talent that leads to excellence. The story is no different in figure skating. Like every other human sport, it commands the basic array of skills – consistency, dexterity, fitness, creativity. It might not command the global popularity that sports like basketball and soccer have but it shares the skills and requirements necessary to thrive in those sports. One athlete who has all these requirements and has used them to climb to the highest point in the sport is Ashley Wagner. The American figure skater has several medals in her collection over the course of a career that has lasted over 20 years. Here are some interesting facts to learn about the successful figure skater.
Who is Ashley Wagner?
Before getting into those juicy facts, here is a quick introduction of who Ashley Wagner is. She was born Ashley Elisabeth Wagner to a former school teacher, Melissa James, and a US Army retiree, Lieutenant Colonel Eric Wagner on the 16th of May, 1991.
She began skating at the age of five and continued till she became a professional at the age of 17 having impressed across various figure skating competitions in her amateur and junior competitor days. She is a national champion and an Olympic medalist.
5 Interesting Facts About Ashley Wagner
She had a Gypsy Kind of Childhood
Well, not literally. That would be impossible with her career as a figure skater. But while she didn’t travel in tattered clothing working from place to place, she moved frequently during her childhood, never staying long enough in a place to make lasting friendships. As the daughter of a military officer, she moved a total of nine times between her birth and her 10th year of life. When the moving around was done, Ashley and her family settled in Northern Virginia where she got a real high school experience at the West Potomac High School. She was previously homeschooled by her mother.
She Speaks German
Hitler never conquered the world, so German is not a global language but it is still one of the leading languages in the world and Ashley speaks it. Perhaps as a souvenir for being born in Heidelberg, Germany on the US Army Base in the country.
She has 9 Medals
If you think they are small, then you are not familiar with the sport of figure skating. Ashley Wagner is one of the most successful athletes competing in the sport today. Having won a couple of medals in her amateur and junior days, including a gold medal in her very first competition, a bronze medal at the Junior National and World Championships and a silver medal at the Junior Grand Prix, she began to compete at the Senior level in 2007. After placing fifth in her first senior competition, she won a bronze medal at the 2007 Trophee Éric Bompard, just two weeks later. She won an Olympic medal (bronze) at the 2014 Sochi tournament in Russia. Although she missed the recent 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, she is the most decorated US Woman figure skater in 6 years.
She has Suffered Several Health Issues
There are plenty of other professions you could be a part of if you are physically unfit, but not sports, especially figure skating and Ashley Wagner’s body hasn’t made it easy for her. Shortly after making her senior debut in 2007, Ashley began to suffer from a racing heartbeat and violent full body spasms. Despite seeing a lot of physicians, Ashley was unable to determine the cause of her spasms until a chiropractor, Steve Matthews figured out the problem and placed her on a physical therapy program. As a result of the nature of her job, Ashley has suffered plenty of concussions that is believed to have affected her cognitively.
Ashley Wagner is Worth $4 Million
If perhaps you are wondering what the financial reward is for a sport like Figure Skating, it is not a lot. Certainly, peanuts compared to what average players in the NBA take home, but you won’t be broke either (if you spend wisely). Ashley, who has risen to the top of the profession, as an Olympic medalist is worth $4 million. She also has a sponsorship deal from Nike and is an ambassador for Pandora Jewelry.