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Ashley Wagner ‘furious’ over U.S. Championships scores (video)

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Ashley Wagner said she was “absolutely furious,” underscored and that she deserved a spot on the three-woman U.S. Olympic team despite finishing fourth at nationals on Friday.

A full event recap is here. Here are some of Wagner’s comments:

“I’m furious. I am absolutely furious,” Wagner, a three-time U.S. champion, Olympian and 2016 World silver medalist, said minutes after the event ended. “I know when I go and I lay it down, and I absolutely left one jump on the table. But for me to put out two programs that I did at this competition, as solid as I skated, and to get those scores, I am furious, and I think deservedly so. I am a performer, and that second mark is just not there.”

“I am absolutely OK with [judges] being strict on my [jump] rotations. That’s what I think that U.S. Figure Skating should demand of their judges, but you know it needs to be across the board. I don’t necessarily feel like it’s been that way at this event, so we’ll see how things pan out.”

“Even though I’m mad about my score, that [free] program was such an experience for me. I skated with heart. I took a program that’s a month old, and I delivered something that was solid and something I’m proud of. It definitely can use a little bit more legwork, but that’s because it’s a month old. It was the right call, and I have no doubt in my mind that ‘La La Land’ was the program that was going to get me where I wanted to be.

“At this point it’s up to the selection committee to see what I have done this season. I don’t like this position that I’m in. You can always say that I put myself in this spot, but I think I had some help getting there.”

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IOC: ‘More exciting initiatives’ for Korean unity in PyeongChang

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic organizers on Friday welcomed an agreement between North and South Korea to unite athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Games and promised that “much more exciting initiatives” promoting Korean unity will emerge this weekend.

“Watch this space,” International Olympic Committee presidential spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press in an interview, a day before a crucial meeting of Korean delegations at Olympics headquarters in Lausanne.

He declined to elaborate, saying the decisions would come Saturday.

Referring to a detailed peace-making agreement between the rival countries announced Thursday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, including a joint team in the women’s hockey tournament, Adams said it was “great … but these are discussions” — meaning the IOC had not yet given the deal the final green light.

“I can tell you that there will also be some much more exciting initiatives coming through as well tomorrow,” he added.

Provided that the IOC finalizes the deal, it would mark the first time the two National Olympic Committees would be competing together in a single team.

Some have questioned the fine print of the agreement announced by the two Koreas, saying it gives the combined hockey squad a far larger roster than any other national team.

Asked how the IOC planned to maintain the integrity of the sport, Adams said: “People would say that these are exceptional circumstances, and we need exceptional measures.”

“This is about the Olympic spirit,” Adams added. “And the Olympic spirit is about nations competing, athletes competing, and we will do our best make sure that it sends a signal that sport can improve the world.”

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Julia Mancuso skis final race dressed as Wonder Woman (video)

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Julia Mancuso bid farewell like only she could — with a tiara, cape and Wonder Woman suit.

The most decorated female U.S. Olympic skier with four medals announced Friday morning that today’s World Cup downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo would be the last race of her career.

More on Mancuso’s retirement, career and immediate future here.

She raced Friday as her nickname — “Super Jules” — and coasted to the bottom 18 seconds slower than winner Sofia Goggia.

Afterward, U.S. Ski Team members sprayed her with champagne and lifted her up in the finish corral.

Mancuso chose an appropriate venue for her last race.

She notched her first World Cup podium in Cortina in January 2006, then won the Olympic giant slalom in Sestriere, Italy, four weeks later.

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