Despite never competing in an international senior event, 15-year-old Polina Edmunds of San Jose was named to the U.S. Olympic figure skating team for the upcoming Sochi Games on Sunday. Edmunds finished second at the U.S. Championships on Saturday night. Joining Edmunds on the Olympic team are Ashley Wagner, who was selected despite finishing fourth at the U.S. Championships, and Gracie Gold, who won her first U.S. title Saturday in a runaway. Mirai Nagasu was passed over.
The organization does take into account the technical difficulty of skaters’ programs, and that might have been what clinched the preternaturally poised Edmunds’ spot on the team.
“Even though it is my senior debut, I think I am senior-level, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s a debut or not,” Edmunds said. Edmunds, a sophomore at Mitty High School in San Jose, knew she’d have more Olympic opportunities in her future, but Sochi was special. Her mother, who helps coach her, is from Russia.
Edmunds hasn’t been there since she was 2, but she often says hi over Skype to all her relatives in the city of Tver, and when she competed at the Junior Grand Prix in Belarus, her uncle took an 18-hour train trip to see her perform. Edmunds can understand Russian and speaks it some.