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Thread: sasha cohen and her heritage

  1. #1
    Tatjana14
    Guest

    sasha cohen and her heritage


    I just want to know, does anyone care about sasha's supposive Russian heritage ?(I've heard her mother is Ukrainian many times). It seems, in articles, many Russian skaters seem to think that because she has eastern european roots, that's why she's so good(.i.e.)-Maria Butry-whatever her last name is. It's like they think it defines her skating.
    Ever she she got with Tatiana Tarasova her whole heritage has been put on display. I am not bashing sasha, I am a fan of hers, its just sometimes this whole eastern european thing is getting on my nerves.

    I think somewhere along her career I think it's going to backfire on her, especially with the American Judges.

  2. #2
    Ladskater
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Well I don't doubt she inherited some athletic abilities from someone in her family. Whether that has anything to do with her Russian roots or not is highly irrelevant. A lot of great skaters have come out of Russia, but also many great skaters have come from over here on our side of the globe. Part of her heritage is Jewish also (Cohen). Does Kwan's abilities have anything to do with her being oriental? It's all what one inherits!


    Ladskater

  3. #3
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    I think Maria B has a lot baggage about figure skating. She's pure Russian and she's not on my short list of great skaters.

    Sasha is fine whatever her background is.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Kara Bear
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    I remember several times in interviews where Sasha has expressed very pro American thoughts, either that she is 100% American or something like go team USA. I really don't think her heritage will change many aspects of her skating.

  5. #5
    Nadya Lyubova
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Sasha's roots are not Russian but Ukrainian I think the fact, that many Russian skaters like her so much is not because they think Eastern European roots make you better at skating, but because Sasha has a very Eastern European style of skating, and because Eastern European countries, esp. Russia, Georgia, the Ukraine and Belarus are still very close. A lot of skaters of those countries are friends in private and considers themselves almost brothers and sisters. So, I suppose they kind of count Sasha Cohen, too.

    Another thing I think is that sasha trains with Tarasova, and so she's got this very typical Tarasova style, like Yagudin. That also makes her "European" to some extent I think

  6. #6
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Nadya - I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on Sasha's style. For me Sasha's style is very unique to her. Her style, from my point of view,may be what Eastern European Ladies would like to have. Unfortunately the Eastern European Ladies, for me, have a simple skating style and I see little differences between them.

    However, if Sasha is becoming a mentor for Russian Ladies figure skating, I think they chose an exceptionally good skater to follow.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Dee4707
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    I'm just happy that Sasha is on our US team.

    Dee

  8. #8
    WindSpirit5
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    Nadya, I agree with you and with Joe (that Sasha's style is what European ladies would like to have, well, at least some of them). IMO, there is something in Sasha's style that really "talks" to Europeans. (I would elaborate, but I have a bandage on my hand and typing takes a lot of time).

    As for her Russian heritage, AFAIK Sasha's grandfather was a Russian gymnast. When you're 18 you usually think about "now and here" more than about where you came from, so I wouldn't be surprised if she started to acknowlege her heritage more in a few years. Btw, is there something like a 100% American? Or Russian, for that matter.

  9. #9
    Russian Fan
    Guest

    Sasha's heritage


    In fact, Sasha is Jewish, so I don't know whether South-Slavonic soul or Slavonic roots (as Butyrskaya and others put it) is applied here. And she was born in America. Her mom's family emigrated from Odessa in mid-70s as Jewish emigrants. And Sasha's dad is Jewish.

    My Jewish friend at work recently brought me a Jewish newspaper with a very interesting article about figure skating. The authors of the article rooted for Jewish skaters and they did consider Sasha 100% Jewish.
    Funny, but they also considered Irina Slutskaya Jewish since her father is Jewish, and then they saw her cross herself before the skate, so they decided that she was Christian.

    Please note, that I mean here Jewish as ethnicity and not religion.

  10. #10
    KYSCNN
    Guest

    Sasha's heritage


    I'd like to add that Sasha's so-called "Russian style" was there even when she was with John Nicks, so I don't know what all the fuss is about now that she is with Tarasova. It's not like Tarasova "gave her" this type of presentation. This is Sasha's particular presentation, that's all. Moreover, if this style of figure skating is so Russian, then I wonder how come I haven't seen any of Russia's female skaters skate like this.

    JMHO

  11. #11
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    From what I've heard, the people touting Sasha's eastern European or Russian roots (I know, her mother's Ukrainian) is everybody except Sasha. As someone else noted, Sasha describes herself as 100% American, yet I'm sure she's also proud of the heritage of both her parents. It would be unfortunate it the emphasis on her heritage backfired with the judges since it's been coming from other people not, Sasha.

    As for the interest in Sasha by eastern Europeans, Russians, and Ukranians, I think it's only natural. It's the old comedian's thing of, "Anybody here from Podunk?" and a few people start screaming as if being from Podunk is the greatest thing in the world. Most people feel a bond with where they were born, where they grew up, and with their heritage. My father is Slovakian and my mother is Italian and naturally I'm interested in where our family came from way back when.

    So I don't think it's as much a thing about eastern European skaters being better but more about the natural human tendency to see great characteristics in other people of their nationality.

    Tarasova, OTOH, has talked about Sasha having a "Russian soul" and stuff like that. Sasha probably has inherited some of her mother's personality characteristics, but I think Tarasova's remarks reflect her own culture and personality more than Sasha's.

    Sasha's in a Catch-22 position because if people in eastern Europe feel a bond with her because of her mother, then it would be rude and insensitive of Sasha to disregard their fondness, no matter what the reason. OTOH, Sasha is an all-American SoCal girl, as she as often said and as is evident from her behavior. I think she's handled it well. After all, nobody gets annoyed with Francis Ford Coppola or Martin Scorcese for their pride in their Italian roots.
    Rgirl

  12. #12
    Idleracer
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    [c]<font size=4>[b]<font color="#C000C0">All I know is this...The Japanese have never made any claims that Kristie Yamaguchi is "One Of Their Own." That goes the same for the Chinese and Michelle Kwan, the Polish and Tara Lipinski (and Tonia Kwiatkowski), the Bulgarians and Angela Nikodinov, the Irish and Nancy Kerrigan, the Czekoslovakians and Nicole Bobek, etcetera etcetera.
    I'm not sure just how far this "Ukranian roots" thing goes beyond Maria Butyrskaya's musings, but as far as I'm concerned, a person's ethnicity is wherever they choose to call home. My grandparents on both sides were also Russian Jews, and I was even born in the same hospital as Sasha Cohen, but I consider myself 100% American...period.

  13. #13
    Nadya Lyubova
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    I see what you guys mean about Sasha's style not being Russian/Tarasovian.
    I think this is one of those cases when style and choreography collide once again. In my post I referred to both as a combination. When I first saw her SP (or LP? I'm not sure) of this season, I didn't know who had choreographed it, and I asked my friend "Did she turn to morozov for choreography?? " My friend asked how I knew that, and I said "well, look at her movements, the programme looks so much like Morozov's handwriting, as in Yagudin's and Babou's programmes". My friend rewinded the tape and we watched the programme again, and she almost had her eyes fall out when she saw what I meant.
    But I see, this is more a question of choreography than style. Her style i think has always been very expressive, and I think she always had a tendency to dramatic movements (I don't want this to sound negative, I like her programmes ). Maybe this is what appeals to many Europeans, esp. Eastern Europeans...

  14. #14
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    <span style="color:green;font-family:georgia;font-size:large;">BRAVO, IDLE</span>

    Joe

  15. #15
    peachstatesk8er
    Guest

    Re: sasha cohen and her heritage


    I can understand Sasha saying she's 100% American. After all, she was born <strong>here.</strong> Her mom being from the Ukraine, is interesting, but does not make Sasha any less American. It simply means she has Ukrainian heritage. I think it's great that she has learned the language from her mother.

    My grandfather is from Greece. Do I go around saying I'm Greek? No. I was born here, I'm American. While I'm certainly interested in, and proud of where my family comes from, it does not make me go about touting my "Greekness". Am I 100% American? Heck yeah!

    I do think that regardless of where Sasha's family comes from, her style is certainly her own, but nonetheless is reminiscent of the more dramatic flavor the Europeans and Russians tend to exhibit. The US ladies all too often tend to run a bit bland and could use more drama a la Sasha, IMO.



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