Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner has had a rough few weeks. After placing fourth at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships (where she fell twice), Wagner still managed to snag a coveted spot on the women’s 2014 Olympic Team. A public outcry ensued. The bullying got so bad on Twitter that she decided to take a break from social media altogether.
Wagner is currently in Sochi, Russia, preparing for her Olympic debut. She caught up with Mediabistro a few days before she left, to discuss a possible career in sports journalism, and the dark side of social networking:
Honestly, just a bunch of really mean, hurtful things were being said to me. You know, I had people telling me to go jump off of a bridge and things like that, that I was already going through a lot of things on my own. I didn’t need to see all that negativity. I think the great thing about social media is it gives people access to you on a totally personal level that they didn’t have before, so it’s really important and it’s a great way to get people involved and excited about what you’re doing. I’m definitely not gone forever, but I’m taking a break until those trolls realize that I’m not reading what they’re saying nor do I care what they’re saying.
To hear more from Wagner, including details on her new blogging gig for SI.com, read: Olympic Figure Skater Ashley Wagner On A Possible Future in Journalism.