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Wagner wins Readers' Choice SOTY award

Skater enjoyed breakthrough season with wins at U.S., Four Continents championships

Ashley Wagner is the first ladies skater to win the Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award since Kimmie Meissner did it in 2006.
Ashley Wagner is the first ladies skater to win the Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award since Kimmie Meissner did it in 2006. (Jay Adeff)

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(08/03/2012) - U.S. Figure Skating and SKATING magazine announced today that 2012 U.S. champion Ashley Wagner has won the 2012 Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award (Michelle Kwan Trophy).

"This past year was huge for me and a big leap and something I needed to do," Wagner said. "Both of my programs were so well-received, especially Black Swan, by my fans that it made it even more satisfying for me. I could tell everyone was really enjoying what I was putting out. To be awarded this honor is like icing on the cake for such a great season."

Wagner, who trains in Aliso Viejo, Calif., with coach John Nicks, finished ahead of synchronized skating teams the Skyliners, ICE'Kateers and Miami University, and the ice dancing team of Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt.

The 21-year-old from Alexandria, Va., enjoyed the best season of her career. She began the year by winning the bronze medal at 2011 Skate Canada before claiming her first U.S. title at the 2012 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., in January. Less than two weeks later, Wagner earned gold at the 2012 Four Continents Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. At the 2012 World Figure Skating Championships in March, she rallied from an eighth-place showing in the short program to finish third in the free skate and fourth overall. Wagner and Team USA closed the 2011-12 campaign by winning silver at 2012 World Team Trophy.

The Michelle Kwan Trophy will be presented to Wagner at the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Neb.

Each spring, SKATING magazine readers are asked to vote for the eligible skater in any discipline whom they believe is most deserving of the award, based on the accomplishments of the past season. The Michelle Kwan Trophy, which represents both the sport of figure skating and SKATING magazine, is a one-of-a-kind crystal sculpture designed by Crystal Signatures of Pennsylvania.

The Readers' Choice Award is given annually by SKATING magazine, the official publication of U.S. Figure Skating. Voting was open to the public on www.usfigureskating.org, with results becoming final on July 16. For more information and a full list of past winners, click here.