M&F: You’re a three-time U.S. champion and an Olympic bronze medalist. What’s a typical day of training look like for you ahead of The Olympics?
Ashley Wagner: On a typical training day, I’m on the ice for 3½ hours, and then I’m usually in the gym for another two. I do that six days a week. In the gym, it’s a lot of resistance training with bands. I mostly focus on core strength and stability, and then I also do a lot of glute work. So, lots of squats.
What about bench pressing?
No, not so much. Skating is a really interesting sport because we have to be ridiculously strong, but we can’t be big, because everything we have, we have to haul up into the air.
You were featured in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue wearing nothing but your skates. What’s the reaction been like?
Overwhelmingly positive. It was really important to me for people to see what a figure skater’s body really looks like. People think we’re just these little porcelain dolls. At the end of the day, we have to be really strong, really lean athletes. We’re using multiple cardiovascular systems when we’re out there on the ice. So I’m stoked that I got to do the Body Issue so that people could see that we’re athletes and that this is a real sport.
What’s your pump-up song before a routine?
When I was younger, I used to listen to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Now usually I’m backstage dancing to Beyoncé or anything that gets me moving and keeps me loose.
What’s a better figure skating movie, The Cutting Edge or Blades of Glory?
That’s really tough. I would say Blades of Glory. But Cutting Edge is such a classic. You can’t go wrong with either.
Have you seen them both multiple times?
Of course. It’s my duty as a figure skater.
What are your tips for someone who sucks at ice skating?
Stop being afraid of falling. If you tense up, then of course you’re going to fall. You’re making it harder by being afraid of it. Figure skating is all about being relaxed. Bend your knees. It’ll make you way more stable than locking out your legs.
What’s your advice for pulling off one of those jumps?
Wait until you can make it a lap around the rink without holding on to the boards before you go for the jump.
Follow figure skater Ashley Wagner on Twitter and Instagram: @AshWagner2010.