Sasha on Michelle
"I won't lie. I love the attention. I love the spotlight,' said Sasha Cohen upon arrival in Turin" for the Olympic Games.
The May issue of Spotlight on Skating just came out, featuring almost 70 pages of in-depth coverage of the Olympics and World Championships, mostly by reporter/feature writer Lynn Rutherford. Here are some excepts from Sasha's news conference, given the day that Michelle announced her withdrawal from the Games.
"No matter what she does, whether she skates or not, Michelle will always be the focus of attention," said Cohen with just the slightest of sighs.
"I just answer whatever questions come my way. The Michelle questions are the hardest.... I have to shift my focus away from other people and onto myself. You can ask me the questions and they bounce right back."...
(Michelle's withdrawal) "kind of humanizes the sport. She's someone who has been an icon, who has always been there. We've seen her hard edge when competing. It proves you can be at the top of the sport and have good and bad times. You have to deal with what life gives you."
Still, Cohen made it clear she did not particularly fear Kwan as a competitor, especially under the ISU judging system.
"Michelle's participation was never an issue for me. For me, it's about my own performance."
"Is (her withdrawal) a relief? No....I placed ahead of Michelle twice at Worlds and under this new system, the emphasis is on quality. The NJS can change the orders quite a bit."