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  1. #1

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    Sasha (Alex) Cohen: "I am learning that life is not like sport"

    Sasha Cohen took her birthright trip to Israel last month and gave an interview afterwards in which she talked about her impressions of her trip, life after skating and how she feels today about her Olympic silver medal: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/news...e.php?id=18507
    Excerpt:
    Cohen is also excelling in her international relations studies at Columbia University, works in finance at Morgan Stanley, and has a successful figure skating clothing line. But despite all her success in her new interests, her happiness is not complete.

    "I don't know if anything will ever be as important to me as living my entire life for that Olympic moment. I am in constant battle with myself in search of the next thing that will thrill me in that way, but so far I haven't found it. I need to learn how to free myself of that feeling, get a different life and let people into my life. As an athlete, you push people away. I am working on myself to learn how to live with other people, not just alone as a focused athlete. It takes time to change these habits."
    Cohen's Instagram account has photos from her birthright trip to Israel - a sampling:
    Old city Jerusalem: http://instagram.com/p/peb-IMxiQx/
    With border police (see Zemgirl's post below) in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem: http://instagram.com/p/pecHt1RiQ9/
    Masada: http://instagram.com/p/pVi5IMRiXQ/
    Dead Sea: http://instagram.com/p/pVi9rExiXT/
    Holding a newborn lamb: http://instagram.com/p/pYxXfrRiRe/
    Riding a camel: http://instagram.com/p/pYRWOTRiQ7/
    Last edited by Sylvia; 07-15-2014 at 06:06 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Sasha Cohen took her birthright trip to Israel last month and gave an interview afterwards in which she talked about her impressions of her trip, life after skating and how she feels today about her Olympic silver medal: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/news...e.php?id=18507
    The timing worked out nicely for her I think Jason Brown should come over for Taglit (the local name for the Birthright program - it means Discovery), he seems like the sort of person who'd have a blast doing it.

    FYI, the guys in the picture look like border police to me, so technically they are not soldiers.

    I'm surprised that nobody figured out who she was; skating might not be hugely popular, but she was still fairly high profile during her career, and I've seen her mentioned by people who are not skating fans.

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    And Jason Brown is within the age limits. I could never go b/c the program started when I was 28....I miss all the good stuff, lol.

    Oh well, it was nice that the program gave her a chance to go and hopefully Sasha will become a supporter in the future. Sounds like she had a great time. It's not too surprising that no one recognized her. She used a different name and it's been 8 years since her OSM. Unless someone was a hard core skating fan, they likely wouldn't recognize her on sight.

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    Her mother was from Ukraine. I wonder if a birthright visit there is in the works? Hard to believe she is headed to thirty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    The timing worked out nicely for her I think Jason Brown should come over for Taglit (the local name for the Birthright program - it means Discovery), he seems like the sort of person who'd have a blast doing it.
    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/in...n-around-world

    He’s not been to Israel yet, but hopes to go on a Birthright trip one day with [Max] Aaron. “I’m dying to go,” he said.

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    Thank you for posting that, Sylvia. Such a touching article on several levels. One is that Israel desperately needs good will ambassadors right now and it makes me very happy that Sasha has committed herself to being one. The other is that this is the most personal interview I have ever seen with Sasha, and she articulates some of the pain we could all see in those big sad eyes after missing out on so many wins, including the biggest one.

    I am not surprised that she is still searching for something as thrilling as skating. Besides that she had a huge, rare talent, she loves being in the spotlight, and now she isnt. But she is taking a lot of steps in the right direction. Her effort to move away from the solitary nature of singles skating toward a more open, social attitude to life is also proving to be difficult, but her ability to talk openly about it bodes well.

    Her life has not been as easy as some people think. I wish Alex/Sasha the young woman all the best, and as for brilliant Sasha the skater, who could ever forget her?
    Last edited by Spun Silver; 07-15-2014 at 08:28 PM.

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    I really enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks for posting.
    Things she says about Israel are really heartwarming. For me as an Israeli and also as someone who really believes in Taglit and who worked in its "Russian equivalent" for a few years.

    It was a bit sad to read that she still feels the pain of that Olympic silver, that she couldn't find the equal substitution for the thrills she experienced being a skater. But it sounds that she is on the right way. Wish her loads of luck.

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    Thanks for posting!
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I feel very sad for her that she's still searching for something that can make her feel complete like winning did. But then again, I know how that feels, being a bit younger, totally unfulfilled, wondering what my life is because it feels like there's nothing there to make me happy. I hope she finds that. I miss watching her skate so much but I'm glad she's moving on and doing well.

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    Her comments about Torino are heart wrenching, but not without perspective. :

    Your burning passion for skating didn't flicker for 20 years?

    "It flickered quite a bit, but those difficult moments are where you grow. One of the hardest times for me was at the Turin Olympics in 2006. I had a an excellent routine in the short program and I was ranked in first place. The next day, I got hurt, and I only had 24 hours to get myself together and perform the free skate -- the skate of my life. An entire team was there to make sure I was on my feet. They injected me with cortisone and made sure to boost my confidence because I was furious for having gotten hurt at the precise moment that I had been working for my entire life. I made some mistakes, and from there I had to move forward and try to learn how to even deal with such a loss. It was very difficult for me, but it also made me stronger. When you're winning everything is great and you don't look back. When you lose, the test is how you deal with it."
    I didn't realize she was hurt right before the LP. I thought she had that groin injury for a couple of months prior to the Olympics?
    Sometimes I think I lost something really important to me, and it turns out I already ate it.

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    Such a thoughtful, candid interview, I loved reading it. Thank you for posting.
    improving my ballad- like lines

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    What a painfully honest interview. She definitely seems like a restless soul, but also seems to be actively trying to move her life in a more satisfying direction. I hope her efforts will pay off.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

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    I don't find it surprising at all that she feels that way, maybe more surprising that she admits to it.

    It must be terribly difficult to figure out how to move on from something that has been your entire focus of your life.

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    Sasha is always fascinating. Thanks for the link to the article <3

    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaTurtles View Post
    Her comments about Torino are heart wrenching, but not without perspective. :

    I didn't realize she was hurt right before the LP. I thought she had that groin injury for a couple of months prior to the Olympics?
    It was an injury she was suffering the whole year but she did something to make it worse. When you have that type of injury it's easy to tweak it so that the pain and swelling return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I don't find it surprising at all that she feels that way, maybe more surprising that she admits to it.

    It must be terribly difficult to figure out how to move on from something that has been your entire focus of your life.
    I agree that it is not surprising that Sasha feels this way ... it seems difficult for several skaters to find new careers and interests.

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    deleted duplicate post

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    Quote Originally Posted by NinjaTurtles View Post
    Her comments about Torino are heart wrenching, but not without perspective. :



    I didn't realize she was hurt right before the LP. I thought she had that groin injury for a couple of months prior to the Olympics?
    Oh man. I had no idea she was hurt. I hated that she had such problems at the beginning of that LP, but thought the rest of her skate was so inspirational. She never gave up, and in spite of the color of that medal, she gave a stunning performance.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

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    Maybe someday, now that she is gaining enough distance to open up about her struggles, she will be willing to talk about what lay behind the heartbreaking mistakes that cost her so many gold medals.

    Axel Annie, her left leg was taped during the performance. It was hard to see, but the US announcer mentioned it and referred to her groin injury.

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    I wonder what happened with that groin injury. Definitely remember it being taped up and wondering about it but nobody really talked about it. She seems like she just didn't want to make an excuse for her performance at the time.

    I wonder when she'll be done with Columbia? Soon, right?

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    It sounds like she is not totally happy yet, but she is successful, so good for her.

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