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Wagner picks Arutunian to join coaching team

Two-time U.S. champ will travel with Lake Arrowhead-based coach while also remaining with Nicks

Ashley Wagner feels she is in good hands with John Nicks and Rafael Arutunian as coaches.
Ashley Wagner feels she is in good hands with John Nicks and Rafael Arutunian as coaches. (Getty Images)

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By U.S. Figure Skating
(06/25/2013) - Ashley Wagner, the two-time reigning U.S. champion, announced Tuesday she has commenced training part time with Rafael Arutunian in Lake Arrowhead, Calif. She continues to train with John Nicks in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Arutunian will accompany Wagner to competitions.

"I'm excited for resolution to my coaching situation," Wagner said. "I scrambled a bit after Mr. Nicks confirmed he would no longer be my travel coach. I'm now thrilled to have two great coaches in my corner. I have no doubt my time with Rafael will benefit my skating as I work toward my goal of making the 2014 Olympic Team."

In April, Nicks, a renowned Olympic and world coach, announced he will no longer travel to events with his students. Wagner and Nicks began their professional relationship in the summer of 2011 when Wagner relocated from Delaware to Southern California to begin training with Nicks.

Arutunian, a former national competitor for the Soviet Union, has worked with Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Mao Asada, Jeffrey Buttle and others.

Wagner will begin her season in Detroit at 2013 Skate America, an event at which she is the reigning champion. She will also compete at 2013 Trophée Eric Bompard in Paris before vying for her third straight U.S. title, at the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston.