American figure skater Ashley Wagner provided the viral catnip for a hungry internet after she received disappointing scores in the women's short program yesterday. Wagner was likely upset in part because she had been given a lower score than Japan's Mao Asada, who tumbled to the ice during her routine. Wagner may have underwhelmed, but she still stayed up and had a clean program.
After the reaction shot came the GIF, in which Wagner goes through the five stages of grief in a very public instant. Her jaw drops, her face contorts, she nods in disbelief, she utters the word "bullshit" to someone off-camera, and then claps perfunctorily.
Prior to the Sochi games, there had been some skepticism about Wagner's selection for the United States Figure Skating team over Mirai Nagasu. Earlier this week, Alexander Abad-Santos explained the rooting interests at play.
Thanks to the USFS, CoverGirl, Nike, P&G, Hilton, Pandora, and BP are set for the Olympics and have an athlete competing in one of the fortnight's premier sports. NBC won't have to re-shoot its Olympic commercials, which already heavily feature Wagner. And if Sochi follows the way the last four Olympics have, we'll probably see a lot more of Wagner in the next few weeks even if her results don't warrant it. At the national championship last weekend, Nagasu placed third and beat Wagner by eight points (huge in skating). Grace Gold and Polina Edmunds, the gold and silver medalists, beat her by even bigger margins.
Sadly, that context was probably lost forever once the six-second clip of Wagner became a meme. After scoring a bronze medal, Wagner put a positive spin on things today.
I am an OLYMPIC MEDALIST!!! THANK YOU TO MY INCREDIBLE TEAM! Also huge thanks to our fearless leader @CharlieaWhite who led us 2 the bronze!— Ashley Wagner (@AshWagner2010) February 9, 2014