Salt Lake native Angela Wang will continue training as an alternate for U.S. team, but she’ll also re-enroll in college

By Amy Donaldson
@adonsports
Published: January 6, 2018 7:55 pm

Angela Wang
Angela Wang performs during the women’s free skate event at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Salt Lake native Angela Wang doesn’t know how much longer figure skating will be the main focus of her life, but it will remain at the top of the priority list for at least another month.

The 21-year-old was named first alternate for the 2018 Four Continents Championships in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 22-28, after finishing seventh in the U.S. Championships Friday night.

Wang was also named third alternate for both the 2018 Olympic team and the 2018 World Championships team.

“I’m first alternate for Four Continents, so I have to keep training,” she said. “That’s what I’m going to be doing for now. If I go, it would be my first championships event.”

The U.S. women’s Olympic and World Championship teams are the top three women at the U.S. Championships — Bradie Tennell, the 2018 U.S. champion; Mirai Nagasu, the 2018 silver medalist and 2008 U.S. champion; and Karen Chen, the 2018 bronze medalist and 2017 U.S. champion.

Ashley Wagner, who placed fourth in the U.S. Championships, is the first alternate, while Mariah Bell, who finished fifth overall, is the second alternate.

For the 2018 Four Continents Championships, Starr Andrews, who finished in sixth place overall, as well as Bell and Wagner, will represent the U.S., with Wang the first alternate. Amber Glenn is the second alternate, while Courtney Hicks is third alternate.

Andrews and Ting Cui will represent the U.S. in the 2018 World Junior Championships.

Wang has already enrolled as a full-time spring semester student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. A junior who is majoring in exercise science, Wang hopes to take a “pre-physical therapy route.”

She said she can see a number of futures for herself, both with and without pursuing elite-level figure skating.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a skater, even in the past three or four years,” she said. “I feel like I keep making improvements. If I stop now, I feel like I wouldn’t be sad. I’d feel like I’m leaving on a good note. But if I continue, I definitely feel like I still have more to offer.”

Wang’s seventh-place finish was her best U.S. Championships performance. This was her first fully healthy season in a while.

“Last year I dealt with an injury that meant I had to pull out of Skate America,” she said. “I think that taught me a lot about how important recovery and rest is. I was going to school full time, trying to travel and compete, and it was a lot for me. I wasn’t getting sleep, and I was like, ‘I’m an athlete; I can push through.’ So I definitely learned how important rest and recovery are.”