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Profile: Sasha Cohen

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    This profile thread takes a look back at Sasha Cohen's competitive career (1997-2006, with a brief comeback in 2010)

    Born, 26th October 1984, in Westwood, California, Sasha started skating when she was 7 years old (she was also a gymnast at a young age). It would be another 4 years, however, before she started pursuing skating as a career.

    Sasha Cohen - Aged 9 (circa 1993/94)


    In 1997, Sasha finished 2nd in the novice section at both the Pacific Coast Sectionals and the Southwest Pacific Regionals. Accordingly, she qualified to compete at the 1998 U.S. Championships, where she placed 6th in the novice competition.


    During the 1998/99 season, Sasha moved up to compete as a junior. She finished 1st at both the Pacific Coast Sectionals and the Southwest Pacific Regionals. Hence, she qualified to compete at the 1999 U.S. Championships, where she finished 2nd to Sara Wheat in the junior competition.

    Junior U.S. Nationals 1999 - SP, Junior U.S. Nationals 1999 - LP

    Later that season, Sasha won the Gardena Spring Trophy (junior competition), and avenged her defeat to Sara Wheat in the process, by beating her into third place.


    Sasha began the 1999/2000 season (SP: Baroque Selections - Vivaldi, LP: Violin Concerto - Mendelssohn) by performing in the Keri Lotion Classic

    Keri Lotion Classic - LP, Fluff Piece

    Sasha next won the Swedish Junior Grand Prix event (the Salchow Trophy). She also won the senior Pacific Coast Sectionals.

    At the 2000 U.S. Nationals, Sasha competed in the senior competition. This competition represented her breakthrough event, as she led the competition (and Michelle Kwan) after the short program. Ultimately, she won the silver medal behind Kwan.

    U.S. Nationals 2000 - SP, U.S. Nationals 2000 - LP, Exhibition

    Ordinarily, Sasha would have been too young to compete at senior worlds during the 1999/00 season, but a provision within the rules would have allowed her to do so had she medalled at junior worlds. However, she could only finish 6th at junior worlds, with her compatriot, Jennifer Kirk, winning the Gold medal.

    Junior World Championships 2000 - SP, Junior World Championships 2000 - LP


    For the 2000/01 season (SP: Sentimental Waltz, LP: Dark Eyes), Cohen became a full time senior. She again performed in the Keri Lotion Classic

    Sasha was assigned to 2 senior Grand Prix events, the first of which was the Nations Cup in which she finished 5th. The competition was won by Maria Butyrskaya, with Sarah Hughes 2nd.

    Nations Cup - SP, Nations Cup - LP, Exhibition

    Cohen's second Grand Prix event was the Cup of Russia in which she placed 4th. Irina Slutskaya won the event, Elena Sokolova 2nd, and Sarah Hughes 3rd.

    Cup of Russia - SP, Cup of Russia - LP

    Unfortunately, Sasha was unable to compete at the 2001 U.S. Championships due to a stress fracture to her back which finished her entire season.


    Sasha began the 2001/02 season (SP: Sentimental Waltz - Doga, LP: Carmen - Bizet) by competing in the Goodwill Games, finishing 4th. The competition was won by Irina Slutskaya, with Michelle Kwan 2nd.


    Cohen won her next competition, the Finlandia Trophy

    Finlandia Trophy - LP

    Around this time, Sasha also performed at the Masters of Figure Skating event

    Masters of Figure Skating - SP, Masters of Figure Skating - LP

    Sasha was assigned to 2 Grand Prix competitions. Her first was Skate America, at which she placed 5th. Michelle Kwan won the event, with Sarah Hughes 2nd. Sasha performed a quad salchow in practice

    Skate America - LP, Quad Salchow - Practice

    Cohen's next Grand Prix was Trophée Lalique at which she finished 3rd, with the competition being won by Maria Butyrskaya, with Sarah Hughes 2nd.

    Trophée Lalique - SP, Trophée Lalique - LP

    Towards the end of 2001, Sasha performed at the Hershey's Challenge

    At the 2002 U.S. Championships, Cohen finished 2nd behind Michelle Kwan. In the process, she qualified to compete at the 2002 Olympics and World Championships.

    U.S. Championships 2002 - SP, U.S. Championships 2002 - LP, Exhibition

    At the 2002 Olympics, Sasha placed 4th. The Gold medal was won by Sarah Hughes.

    2002 Olympics - SP, 2002 Olympics - LP, Exhibition

    At the 2002 World Championships, Cohen again finished 4th. The Gold medal was won by Irina Slutskaya.

    World Championships 2002 - SP, World Championships 2002 - LP, Exhibition


    Up until this stage, Sasha was coached by John Nicks. For the 2002/03 season (SP: Malagueña - Lecuona, LP: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Rachmaninoff), however, Cohen relocated to Simsbury, Connecticut, to train with Tatiana Tarasova. Sasha was assigned to three Grand Prix events. Firstly, she won Skate Canada, beating Fumie Suguri into 2nd.

    Skate Canada - SP, Skate Canada - LP

    Next, she won Trophée Lalique.

    Trophée Lalique - SP, Trophée Lalique - LP

    In her final Grand Prix event, the Cup of Russia, she finished 2nd to Viktoria Volchkova.

    Cup of Russia - SP, Cup of Russia - LP

    As a result of her success in the Grand Prix events, she qualified for the final and won, beating world champion, Irina Slutskaya into 2nd. Viktoria Volchkova, who had beaten her at the Cup of Russia, placed 3rd. Rather bizarrely, each skater performed 1 short program, followed by 2 long programs in this competition.....

    GPF 2002/03 - SP, GPF 2002/03 - LP1, GPF - 2002/03 - LP2, Gala

    During the 2002/03 season, the Grand Prix Final was held after U.S. Nationals, at which Sasha finished a disappointing 3rd (Kwan placing 1st, and Sarah Hughes 2nd)

    U.S Championships 2003 - SP, U.S. Championships 2003 - LP, Exhibition

    At 2003 Worlds, Cohen finished 4th. Kwan won her final world title at the event

    World Championships 2003 - SP, World Championships 2003 - LP, Exhibition

    Sasha finished the season performing in the ABC International Figure Skating Challenge


    For the 2003/04 season (SP: Malagueña - Lecuona, LP: Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky), Sasha continued to be trained by Tatiana Tarasova. However, midway through the season, she changed to Robin Wagner. Cohen began the season, performing at the Campbell's Classic

    Sasha was again assigned to 3 Grand Prix events. The first was Skate America, which she won, beating Shizuka Arakawa into 3rd place.

    Skate America 2003 - SP, Skate America 2003 - LP

    Sasha also won her next Grand Prix event, Skate Canada, as well, again beating Shizuka Arakawa (this time, into 2nd place)

    Skate Canada 2003 - SP, Skate Canada 2003 - LP

    Cohen made it a hat-trick of Grand Prix wins when she won the Trophée Lalique. Yet again, she beat Shizuka Arakawa into 2nd place.

    Trophée Lalique 2003 - SP, Trophée Lalique - 2003 - LP

    At the 2003/04 Grand Prix Final, Sasha finished 2nd to Fumie Suguri. Shizuka Arakawa finished 3rd (the 4th time out of 4 that Sasha had beaten her during the season).

    GPF 2003/04 - SP, GPF - 2003/04 - LP

    Sasha's next competition was the 2004 U.S. Nationals. She finished 2nd to Michelle Kwan.

    U.S. Championships 2004 - SP, U.S. Championships 2004 - LP

    At the 2004 World Championships, Sasha won the Silver medal (her first medal at Worlds). Who won? Shizuka Arakawa - whom Sasha had beaten 4 times out 4 during the Grand Prix season. Sasha led after the SP (obtaining 4 6.0's for her SP), but in her FS, she missed out the double toe on the end of her 3Zx2T combination, and stumbled on her triple salchow towards the end of her LP, and this cost her victory in the FS (in which she finished 3rd), and the Gold medal.

    World Championships 2004 - SP, World Championships 2004 - LP, Exhibition

    Cohen finished the 2003/04 season by performing at the Marshall's Challenge. Sasha won the event. Guess who she outskated into 2nd Place? Yes, you guessed it - Shizuka Arakawa! Beating her for the 5th time out 6 (losing only at the world championships). Had Cohen performed her brilliant Marshall's LP at Worlds - she would have been world champion.


    Sasha returned to John Nicks for the 2004/05 season (SP: Dark Eyes, LP: The Nutcracker - Tchaikovsky). However, back problems mean't that she missed the entirety of the Grand Prix series. Nevertheless, she returned in time to compete at the 2005 U.S. Nationals, where she finished 2nd to Michelle Kwan

    U.S. Nationals 2005 - SP, U.S. Nationals 2005 - LP

    At the 2005 World Championships, Sasha again won the Silver medal. The competition was won by Irina Slutskaya

    World Championships 2005 - SP, World Championships 2005 - LP


    Sasha began the 2005/06 season (SP: Dark Eyes, LP: Romeo & Juliet) by winning the Campbell's Challenge.

    After missing Skate America due to a hip injury, she competed at the Trophée Eric Bompard where she finished 2nd to Mao Asada.

    Trophée Eric Bompard 2005 - SP, Trophée Eric Bompard 2005 - LP

    At the beginning of 2006, despite having to overcome a bout of the flu, Sasha became the U.S. national champion for the first time.

    U.S. Nationals 2006 - SP, U.S. Nationals 2006 - LP

    At the 2006 Olympics, Sasha led after a superb short program. However, she went into the free skate with a groin injury (which led to a confidence sapping practice session). A disastrous start to her FS opened the door for Shizuka Arakawa to win the Gold. Nevertheless, an excellent skate during the final two-thirds of her LP, enabled Sasha to hang on for the Silver medal. Ironically, her exhibition program was Barbra Streisand's, Don't Rain On My Parade!

    2006 Olympics - SP, 2006 Olympics - LP, Exhibition

    After the Olympics disappointment, competing at the 2006 Worlds was probably a mistake. She finished 3rd to Kimmie Meissner.

    World Championships 2006 - SP, World Championships 2006 - LP


    It would be another 4 years before Sasha competed again - at the 2010 U.S. Championships, in an attempt to qualify for the 2010 Olympics. However, competitively rusty, Sasha could only finish 4th and failed to qualify.

    U.S. Nationals 2010 - SP, U.S. Nationals 2010 - LP
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  2. JeffClair1979

    JeffClair1979 Scissoring Cizeron!

    I am such a Sasha uber... I even named my new car that I bought last year Sasha :D I think that had she competed more under COP that she would have been more successful... 6.0 didn't appreciate what she was able to do (falls and all) as much as COP would have. Her elements were often stunning... But by no means an unsuccessful career. She's certainly a beautiful skater no matter what the scores/placement!
  3. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    Sasha was a great skater, but IMO, she was badly served by the hype that she got. Her medal collection is a dream come true for most skaters (including the current crop of US ladies), but someone hyped as the "best ever" is expected to take gold; that hype makes her silver collection look bad.
  4. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Sasha is one of the very few "special" skaters.
  5. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

    Sasha was an amazingly gorgeous skater, totally watchable.

    She has a great resume. While she may have had some deficiencies, what skater doesn't, she accomplished a great deal.
  6. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    She certainly had her fair share of hype, but I don't recall that she was ever called the "best ever."
  7. whoa

    whoa Member

    Ever since the '06 Olympics, I've realized how granted I took her type of skating (and results) for, especially with the ever-changing landscape of the ladies' field today.
  8. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    I think it's only in retrospect that we can see how much she really was able to accomplish. I remember throughout her career, she was constantly seen as a failure by both fans and media since she always slipped in the freeskate and seemed to give the gold away every time. At Nationals she always played second fiddle to Kwan in terms of placement AND crowd support.

    But that was then. US skating can only wish for someone like her right now.
  9. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the links. :) I'll have to watch some more later, but I just briefly checked out the one when she was 9 and was very surprised how bad she was. :shuffle: Looking at her bio it sounds like she may have still been focused on gymnastics at that age, but I still would've expected better given how natural her talent seemed to be. I guess she wasn't a Johnny Weir-type prodigy as soon as she took to the ice, but she went on to become a truly wonderful skater. :)
  10. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I wasn't a fan of Sasha until a few years ago. My name says it all...anyone who challenged the Kween was public enemy #1 in my eyes. :lynch:

    I've gained an appreciation for Sasha as well as other skaters I couldn't stand back in the day (Irina, Tara, Sarah...again, challenge the Kween and die!:revenge:). Sasha was a very special skater in that her presentation was wonderful. She always looked so pretty on the ice. I can appreciate her wonderful posture and lines, her extension and stretch as well as her ability to perform. She had a commanding presence that made you pay attention...the US would kill for a skater like her right now...

    Sasha's weakness was her inability to handle pressure and being that she often found herself against Michelle, who delivered under pressure 95% of the time, she usually made a mistake. Under IJS jump mistakes aren't as detrimental to the score whereas 6.0 was all about balance and clean skating. Sasha had more missed opportunities than successful ones when it came to delivering or hanging on for a title...she'd be right there and then trip at the finish line.

    Her career was very successful especially in comparison to the US ladies we have today...but given her abilities, I think people always expected more than what she managed.
  11. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    I used to think that until she could not beat Kimmie Meissner at the world championships...with the championship basically being handed to her on a silver platter. I still cannot get over that she did not run away with the title that year.

    Perhaps she would have a few more national titles, with Michelle skating on an eventual career ending injury between 2003-2005, but I don't think she would have done much better internationally.

    I do agree she was a very special skater and she has really spectacular moves that she will always be remembered for.
  12. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    In a recent interview she mentioned that she stopped training after the Olys, and did not intend to go to Worlds, but was convinced by her mom to give it a try. Had she trained seriously for Worlds, she still might have had a signature Sashasplat and lost, but she would've skated better overall and maybe even could've taken the gold on PCS. Her skating was pretty blah at those championships even when you don't consider jumps.
  13. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    If she only trained harder and worked on those jumps and run-throughs... :drama: Such a lovely skater.
  14. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    That's what I heard too, that she initially was not intending to go to Worlds
  15. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    ^ Really? Wow. I was always a bit confused as to why she went since the other medalists didn't go.

    Where can I find this interview?
  16. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    I don't believe CoP would have helped Sasha - she would have gotten many edge calls. Still I agree with Kwanatic - those were the days. She had a star presence and was a perfect foil to Kwan, as well as exciting in her own right. Technique or not, loved the air she got on her jumps.
  17. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

    Considering there's been no one like Kwan before or since, if Sasha had competed at any other time in history she would have won multiple nationals and we would be calling her "great" instead of "splatfest". There were so many times that it was only Kwan keeping her from the top. I think what she accomplished, in that period of time, was really extraordinairy.

    I do wish Sasha would have stuck around a little longer after Kwan retired, because there was really no one Sasha couldn't have beaten. 06 World's was an anomaly IMO. There's only two big ones where Sasha wasn't competing against Kwan. Think of what she could have done if she kept going. For some reason, Sasha got stars in her eyes about becoming an actress, rather than striking while the iron was hot with skating.
  18. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    She was quoted in that she had planned to win 2002 and retire.. presumably to become and actress.. so its understandable she left the sport after 2006 worlds.

    i agree though, in any other time, she would have been considered great.
  19. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    Even had she won all that's nats titles Kwan supposedly kept her from, she still splatted at all of them, and she never could wins worlds, with Kwan above or below her, or not even in attendance, so "great" is a stretch IMHO. I'm actually surprised she managed the one nat title she did get. I predicted kimmie to win 06 nats, but she postponed that win till worlds.
  20. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    I wasn't. I mean, no one else there was in her league...

    Worlds was a different story though. Somehow I expected her to give that one away, perhaps to Suguri who has beaten Cohen in the past. No way did I think Meissner would win though.
  21. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

    Regardless of how she placed at 06 Worlds, she went and I give her props for that. She was always a "spot" earner from 02 on.
  22. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    Sasha's resume with Kwan

    1 US title
    4 silver
    1 bronze

    2 world silver medals
    1 bronze world medal

    Olympic Silver Medalist

    Sasha's resume if MK retired after 2002

    3 time US champion
    3 silver

    2 world silver medals
    2 bronze medals

    Olympic Silver medalist

    So she would have two more US titles and another world bronze medal if Michelle had retired in 2002. Obviously great accomplishments but she still would not be seen as some great champion. Even if you eliminate Michelle all together it increases her national titles to 5 but she still has zero world or Olympic Championships. She would, however, have another Olympic medal (bronze) and another bronze for worlds. 5 time US champion would be impressive though.

    I wish she would have stayed after 2006. She would have wiped the floor with everyone at nationals and I am sure could have mustered top 5 at worlds between 2007-2009....although in 2008 she would have had to place 3rd or better to get the three spots because Kimmie would not have gone. So idk if we would have had three spots even with Sasha on the 2008 US team. I just went totally OT lol but its interesting to think about.

    I do really enjoy watching her skate and wish we had a star like her now.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  23. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    The problem with saying so-and-so would have this title or that medal if AB skater was not present is that you can't always guarantee that performances would be the same or even similar otherwise (the "X-Factor" as I call it). Especially if the skater wouldn't have been replaced- wait times between groups might be different.

    If Cohen did not have Kwan at 2003, 2004, 2005 nationals, who's to say she would have skated the same? Perhaps without Kwan around to push her further, she would have stagnated and slipped. Or, conversely, she may have received more crowd support and that may have enabled her to get "in the zone". I bet if Cohen had skipped 2006 Worlds, people would have assumed she would have won if she did go. Well, look what happened when she went.

    Ditto to her staying after 2006. I truly think she was burned out after Torino and peaked as a skater during the 2003-2006 quad. It would have been downhill for her from that point on, and I don't think she would have had a better result than Meissner in 2007. When she came back in 2010, she seemed ok in the short program but was clearly undertrained and underprepared for the free skate. It was barely a month at that point until the ladies' FS in Vancouver and there is no way she would have developed enough stamina to get through an FS by then, especially at the level required to medal given how stiff the competition was.
  24. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    I know-but i think its safe to assume she would have won nationals in 2004 and 2005 without Michelle there. Otherwise you are talking Jenny Kirk as the 2004 US champion and Kimmie Meissner as the 2005 US champion-a year before the Olympics. I get your point though because you used a great example with 2006 worlds.
  25. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

    The pressure on her in 2004 and 2005 would also have been greater since she would then be the overwhelming favorite. That immediately changes the dynamic of the entire competition. And don't forget the others too. Would Meissner have gone for the 3A in 2005 without MK? But I can understand your point since Kirk was clearly a step down (maybe even 2 steps down) from where Cohen was, even if the latter had an off-night. So even in the case that Cohen was worse, it might have still been enough for the judges to hand her the win (think Czisny in 2009).

    Another good example of the X-Factor just happened this year, with Ashley Wagner winning 4CCs, edging Mao Asada. If, say, she was 3rd at Nationals but still won 4CCs, everyone would have been crying out that she should have gone to worlds, and retrospectively saying that if she went, we would have had a world medalist or even a world champ. Well guess what- Wagner DID go to worlds but ended up "a lowly" 4th. (In perspective, though, that's ties as the best result for the women in 5 years, so it's actually good.)
  26. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    Another X factor is injury.
  27. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    skateboy and (deleted member) like this.
  28. chanunderrated

    chanunderrated Member

    Sasha would have been owned by the young jumpers like Kim, Asada, and even Ando had she skayed around. She couldnt even win against not only Kwan but Slutskaya who was just a jumper, and Arakawa who was inconsistent and not a big judges favorite even when she skated well. It would have only been much harder to win against people like Kim and Asada who were techinically at a much higher level than Sasha, had consistency, and had the artistry as well, and stronger basics (edge, flow, speed) than Sasha.

    As others have said Kwan didnt keep Sasha from much. A couple more U.S titles, big deal. No World titles still, maybe an Olympic medal if she still beats Suguri from the final group in 2002. I dont think it is even as much as people are saying since if Kwan wasnt around Hughes would solidified herself as #1 in status firmly and been given the 2002, and maybe 2000 titles, instead of Sasha. So that leaves 2004, 2005, and 2006, but Meissner could have challenged her in both the latter years, and since Sasha couldnt win a Worlds even without Michelle, and her jumping was her weakness against people like Slutskaya, Arakawa, and even Suguri, the USFSA might have pushed more support on Meissner by then.

    Sasha basically skated at 3 big events without Michelle in a way. 2006 Olympics, 2006 Worlds, and 2005 Worlds where Kwan was never a factor for gold or silver right from the start, and Sasha skated well for once, but still couldnt skate well enough to beat someone else. 2004 Worlds too Kwan had no hope whatsoever of the gold medal entering the LP and Sasha still blew it.
  29. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Well the US has recently had Czisny as a controversial two-time US champion and Flatt was national champion going into the Olympics. I'll take Kirk and Meissner any day of the century.
  30. dorianhotel

    dorianhotel Banned Member

    Flatt is a much better skater than Kirk. Kirks best Worlds was a 15th or something. Flatt was 5th at Worlds and 7th at the Olympics which would have been 4th without two wrong downgrades. Czisny is also a much better skater than Kirk, and in terms of pure skating ability anyway better than Meissner.