UPDATE: We’ve added a video of Jason Brown’s performance after the jump. You can see Covington, who’s directly in front of the Jif To Go sign, best around minute 5:00, during Brown’s finale.
Our roving correspondent, Coy Covington, spent the week attending the National Figure Skating Championships in Boston. He was front-and-center for most of it, which meant you could see his smiling mug from most camera angles during the broadcast.
From his vantage, he could see the skating of Sochi hopeful Ashley Wagner, a darling of U.S. women’s figure skating who had a bad performance — she fell twice during her routine and placed out of the top 3.
That should have meant that Wagner wouldn’t get to join the nationals’ gold, silver and bronze medalists in Russia … but it turns out, it was the bronze medalist, Marai Nagasu, who was snubbed.
“The consensus is that Marai got screwed,” Covington says of the controversial decision. “Judges over-inflated Polina Edmunds’ scores to make sure she placed high. Marai doesn’t currently have a coach and didn’t have anyone to fight for her. She’s a former U.S. champion and earned — and deserves — more respect.”
While medaling at nationals is not a guarantee of an Olympic berth, the few times it has not happened has been due to an injury, not a poor score.
“I personally would have kept Marai on the team, bump Edmunds and sent her to the World Championships,” Covington says. “The crowd was pretty bitter about the whole thing.”
On a fabulous note, male skater Jason Brown (pictured with Covington) was the overwhelming crowd favorite of the entire competition. “He outscored Jeremy Abbott in the long program, won the silver and made the Olympics team!” Covington rejoices.