Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen

Infobox Figure skater
title= Sasha Cohen

caption= Sasha Cohen in exhibition in 2007.
country= USA
dateofbirth= birth date and age|1984|10|26
residence= Corona Del Mar,
Orange County, California
height= convert|157|cm|ftin|abbr=on
coach= John Nicks
formercoach=Robin Wagner, Tatiana Tarasova
skating club= Orange County FSC
combined total= 197.60
combined date= 2003 Skate Canada
SP score= 71.12
SP date= 2003 Skate Canada
FS score= 130.89
FS date= 2003 Skate America

Alexandra Pauline "Sasha" Cohen (born October 26 1984) is an American figure skater. She is the 2006 U.S. National Champion, 2003 Grand Prix Final Champion, and 2006 Olympic silver medalist.

Personal life

Cohen was born in Westwood, California, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Her nickname "Sasha" is a Russian nickname for "Alexandra." Her mother, Galina Feldman, is a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine and a former ballet dancer; her father, Roger Cohen, is a Jewish American business consultant who is an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney LLP.cite news | url= | author=Bloom, Nate | title=The Tribe goes to Torino: Sketches of Jewish Olympic-Bound Athletes | publisher=Jewish World Review | date=February 16 2006 | accessdate=2006-12-23] [ [ AIPS Web Site ] ] Sasha attended Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, California and graduated from Futures High School in Mission Viejo, California in 2002. Her sister, Natalia ("Natasha"), began college at Barnard College in August 2006.

In 2005, she published her autobiography, "Fire on Ice".

Cohen understands Russian.cite web | url=;t=11;tab=Bio: | title=Athletes - Sasha Cohen | | accessmonthday = February 17 | accessyear = 2007]

kating career

A gymnast from an early age, Cohen switched to figure skating when she was seven years old, but it wasn't until she was 10 that she began to take the sport seriously.

Cohen rose to prominence in the skating community during the 2000 United States Figure Skating Championships. Just up from juniors, Cohen dropped from first place after the short program to second after the free skating and qualified for the world team. Too young for the World Figure Skating Championships, a loophole at the time would have allowed her to compete in senior worlds if she medaled at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Cohen did not medal at world juniors and so did not go to senior worlds.

Cohen did not compete at the 2001 Nationals due to a stress fracture in her backFact|date=October 2007, but took back her silver medal at the 2002 Nationals, earning her a trip to the Olympics. Cohen competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, finishing 4th. Her best season was 2003–2004, when she took gold at three Grand Prix events and silver at both the U.S. National Championships and the World Championships. Cohen placed 2nd at the 2005 U.S. National Championships in Portland and the World Championships in Moscow, Russia. She withdrew from the 2005 Grand Prix events due to a recurring back injury.

Cohen started her Olympic season by placing 1st at the Campbell's International Figure Skating Challenge. Soon after she withdrew from Skate America due to a hip injury. She took 2nd place at Trophée Eric Bompard, where she fell on a triple Salchow during her free skate. In 2006, Cohen overcame the flu to capture her first U.S. National Championship. With this victory Cohen automatically secured her place on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2006 Winter Olympics, a spot made official on January 14 of that year by the United States Figure Skating Association.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Cohen was in 1st after the short program, leading Russia's Irina Slutskaya by a mere .03 points. In the final free skate, Cohen fell on her first jump, a triple Lutz, and had her hands down on her second jump, the triple flip. She completed the rest of her elements, including five triples. Cohen finished with an Olympic silver medal, her first Olympic medal. The Olympic gold medalist, Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, won by 7.98 points over Cohen.

A month later at the 2006 World Championships in Calgary, Canada, Cohen was in 1st place after the short program. Completing only one jump combination and falling on the triple Salchow, she placed fourth in the free skate and won the bronze medal, finishing almost ten points behind her teammate, gold medalist Kimmie Meissner. Cohen displayed strong artistry in her free skate and picked up level fours on all her spins and her spiral sequence. Her program component score of 61.35 was the highest of the night.

Post 2006 Olympics

During April 2006, Cohen started the Champions on Ice tour, participated in the second annual "Skating with the Stars, Under the Stars" gala in Central Park and performed in the Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating International Showcase. On April 15, 2006, Cohen announced that she intends to compete into the 2010 season and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She said via her official website, "I will decide after the COI Tour how much skating and what events I will do next season."

In December 2006, Cohen announced that she needed "a little downtime from competing" and that she will not defend her US Figure Skating Championship title in 2007. She again stressed that her "major goals" are the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships and the 2010 Olympics; "I know I want to be in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics." [cite news | url= | title=Cohen pulls out of 2007 national championships | publisher=ABC News | date=December 22 2006 | accessdate=2006-12-23]

Cohen did not compete in the 2006-2007 competitive season, although she did perform exhibitions, including at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting and at USFSA-approved events. She has not given up her Olympic-eligibility.

Cohen has signed on to be a headliner in the 2007-2008 Stars on Ice tour.

Coaching changes

Cohen was coached by John Nicks until the summer of 2002, when she relocated to Simsbury, Connecticut to train with Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova, who choreographed Cohen's "Swan Lake" program and upgraded her footwork. Under Tarasova's coaching, Cohen landed her first triple-triple combination in competition, a triple lutz-triple toe. Also, Cohen completed her first clean free skate in the qualifying round at the 2003 World Championships. She changed coaches again in January 2004 to Robin Wagner (who coached Sarah Hughes to Olympic gold) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In December 2004, Cohen returned to California to work with her original coach, John Nicks, who trained her to compete in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Nicks, who is very knowledgeable on the Code of Points system, helped Cohen increase the difficulty of her spins and spirals, as well as her jumps, to maximize her performances under the new system. She also worked with different people for some tips on bowing at the end of competition.

kating trademarks

Cohen is known for being a talented skater, though her critics say she has never skated two clean programs in a row. [cite news | author = Arica Dixon | title = Is Sasha Cohen Cursed? | url = | publisher = Rampway Online (student-run online magazine at Georgia State University) | date = 2006-03-29 | accessdate = 2006-09-27] [cite news | author = John Henderson | title = Proof of greatness: Perennial second-place finisher Sasha Cohen tries to silence her critics with a national title | url = | publisher = DenverPost | accessdate = 2006-09-27] Her supportersWho|date=October 2007 credit her spiral positions as the best in the skating world due to incredibly flexed positions. She is the first skater to have received +3s for spirals in the new judging system for 'Grade of Execution.'Fact|date=August 2007 She is also known for difficult and creative positions in her spins, such as the "I" spin position which she popularized, and is also sometimes called the "Sasha spin." [ [ Cohen Has Breakout Season] ]

Acting career


Cohen has done commercials for Citizen Watch, Simply Saline, and Got Milk?. She appeared in Episode 7 of the second season of "Project Runway" wherein designers were challenged to design a skating dress for her. The winning dress (by Zulema Griffin) did not fit and the dress had to be resized. Cohen has made a brief appearance guest starring, as herself, on the May 5, 2006, episode of the NBC drama, "Las Vegas". [cite web| url = | title = Sasha Does Hollywood! | work = | accessmonthday = April 17 | accessyear = 2006] Cohen has also appeared in the television crime drama "". In April 2008, she appeared as a contortionist on the premiere episode of "Secret Talents of the Stars" and advanced to the semifinals, although the show was cancelled before she could perform again.


Cohen played Fiona Hughes in the Don Johnson movie "Moondance Alexander". [imdb title|0828065|title=Moondance Alexander] At the 2006 Academy Awards, Cohen served as a guest correspondent for "Inside Edition". This experience led to an encounter with Ben Stiller and a discussion about having a part in a future comedy about figure skating, which Cohen said she would enjoy. In 2007, she appeared as herself in "Blades of Glory". Later that year, she also had a role in "".

Competitive highlights


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