Ashley Wagner Notches Skating Team Bronze, Grabs Gold With Meme

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Source: Nabechicko29 / Licensed through Flickr via Creative Commons

The popular narrative of becoming an Olympian sounds a little like this: An athlete undergoes an arduous journey full of personal sacrifice, immense dedication, and considerable self investment in order to make it to the world’s biggest stage. In order to reach that stage, it goes without saying that Olympians have to convince themselves that they are, in fact, capable of doing well enough to win. Otherwise, why bother?

When U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner completed a run she thought would put her in the gold medal conversation, she was validated. Confident. In short, Wagner was perfect — perfect for the unmitigated glee that a viewing public takes at seeing someone’s comeuppance happen in a nanosecond. She thought she was going to win; she ended up with a score of 63.10.

Delight turned to disgust, and an expletive uttered to an off-camera teammate (as off camera as anyone gets in a globally televised sporting event), and then the face happened. If you didn’t know who Wagner was before the 2014 Sochi Olympics began, it’s hilarious. If you were paying a little attention to this year in U.S. figure skating, it’s almost scarily fitting.

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