Sasha Cohen: The price of achievement, and redefining success (The Peter Attia Drive Podcast interview)

Sylvia

Looking forward to U.S. club competition season
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Thought this deserved its own GSD thread :):
In this episode, Sasha Cohen, former US Olympic figure skater, discusses the most challenging things about life as an Olympian—the unfathomable pressures, enormous expectations, years of sacrifice, and your entire life’s work culminating in just a few minutes on the world stage which, once over, leads to a loss of identity resulting in many former Olympians suffering with depression. We begin by talking about everything that led up to her unforgettable moment from the 2006 Olympics, and how she handled herself so beautifully in the face of disaster. Most importantly, we talk about post-skating life when she shares many insights such as the downside of constantly striving for a moment, the hollowness of achievement, and the importance of redefining our definition of success.
Amazing interview, 100% recommended to everyone here to listen. Sasha talks in detail about her career and life beyond; it is fascinating not only to learn about what being an elite figure skater really is like but also how she overcame all the setbacks and how she found acceptance and closure at the end. A great podcast and one many here would find it easy to relate to probably (even if you are not a skater yourself).
 
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SkateFanBerlin

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This was amazing. I lived in NY many years living the dream. Living now in Europe I see clearly this incredible pressure there was in my past life on measurement of achieving and success. So, much is given up in the process - relationships, joy, peace.

Expect to hear great things about Sasha in the future. This powerful experience as an athlete and her intellectual curiosity could yield some really interesting results.
 

karmena

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Yes, it may be- and it is- as you say, 'giving up in the process relationships, peace, joy...' but...it is not so... It is also giving... "transferring", implanting! the same the same joy or peace on the fruitful soil...in the souls of those who are thirsty and needy for it. For at least one person in the audience.. One fs performance can change somebody's else life. And forever. I do not speak theoretically, I do speak from the experience. Working with terminally ill people, believe or no, there are fs performances which, as oddly as it may seem, are.. sort of restoring in them the lost wings of peace. Certainly, if fs becomes just only a fighting arena for who deserves this on that ( and that never ending Russian drama as if everyone is against them, endless suspicion theories from their side), fs are loosing what it is but only on the boards. There are always someone who takes the energy, the sacrifice of a particular skater and that sacrifice never ever is lost. Never ever. It is implanted in the fruitful soil; it is sort of chain reaction... It is a sacrifice but it is also a privilege; a privilege to touch so many lives...with a talent given to the skater.

As the life after skating.... it is one's personal journey. Hard journey, difficult journey... great that a conversation has began about this journey.
Sorry for English once more, hard to express what I want to say.
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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and that never ending Russian drama as if everyone is against them, endless suspicion theories from their side), fs are loosing what it is but only on the boards.
What do you mean? This is such a sweeping generalization. What's wrong with all the wonderful Russian skaters?
 

Perky Shae Lynn

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I have tremendous respect for Cohen. She is a very intelligent young woman, and I am always interested in hearing what she has to say. Achievement DOES come at a cost, to argue with that is disingenuous. As long as children makes the sacrifices to chase their own dreams, I think it's ok - it's part of life.
 

Willowway

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I just listened to this podcast and it was time well spent. Near the end she makes one observation that will stick with me - that success and happiness are not the same thing. Perceptive.

I didn't know that she was pregnant with a boy - how lovely.
 

SkateFanBerlin

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Interesting, we did not have such "concerns" about "cost of success in skating" when American ladies where occupying the World and Olympic Podiums 2-3 at the time.... ;)
Times change. Though, we should have paid more attention. Cohen's accounting of her injuries is mind blowing. If she was in a circus the cops would havve been called.
 

Tinami Amori

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Times change. Though, we should have paid more attention. Cohen's accounting of her injuries is mind blowing. If she was in a circus the cops would havve been called.
You should check the injury records of junior downhill skiers, and half-pipe skateboarders.... here in USA and internationally... And in American Fooball..... oh my, the injuries they get starting at 10-12 years old.... ;) Some simply crash their heads, spines, and left in wheel-chairs..

And yet Sasha Cohen is just fine, with Olympic and World medals, great education, and now living a lush life.. :D


 

attyfan

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Interesting, we did not have such "concerns" about "cost of success in skating" when American ladies where occupying the World and Olympic Podiums 2-3 at the time.... ;)

Both the number of people and the intensity of concern have increased dramatically in the last few years -- and it isn't just skating. A lot of it is an increase in knowledge about long term effects of sports and sport injuries.
 

Tinami Amori

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Both the number of people and the intensity of concern have increased dramatically in the last few years -- and it isn't just skating. A lot of it is an increase in knowledge about long term effects of sports and sport injuries.
That's good. Then maybe the "interested athletes" and parties address the issues of "injuries in sports", instead of singling out "figure skating", which is by far NOT the most dangerous sport.
 

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