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American figure skater Ashley Wagner won back-to-back gold medals at the U.S. Championships in 2012 and 2013.
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However, she made her biggest impression with a gold medal-winning performance at the 2013 U.S. Championships, making her the first American to claim back-to-back U.S. titles since Michelle Kwan in 2004-05. Three months later,
she finished second overall at the ISU World Team Trophy to help the U.S. squad win the event.
Wagner faced more coaching upheaval when she parted ways with Mills that month and the venerable Nicks informed her it was becoming too difficult to travel. The skater brought in coach Rafael Arutyunyan on to fill Nicks' shoes on the road, and was hopeful of seamlessly incorporating all changes into her program with expectations high for the looming 2014 Winter Olympics.
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