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Thread: Will this be the year for Sasha Cohen?

  1. #16
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    Not in my predictions

    Not in my predictions, a year for Sasha. I was at Skate America this year where she won handily. I'm not getting the appeal, even at the live contest. Seems bizarre to be so darned beautiful, yet have nothing that reaches the stands. There's an elusive quality that just can't be taught and even legendary coaches ain't gonna make it happen.

    Linny

  2. #17
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny
    I was at Skate America this year where she won handily. I'm not getting the appeal, even at the live contest. Seems bizarre to be so darned beautiful, yet have nothing that reaches the stands. There's an elusive quality that just can't be taught and even legendary coaches ain't gonna make it happen.
    Linny, people love to go on and on about Sasha's beautiful presentation and inconsistant jumps, but the truth is she is a very inconsistant performer as well.

    I watched her on TV for 3 years and just didn't get it. Zzzzzz

    Then I saw her live at 02 Lalique, and still, I just didn't get it. Yawn.

    Then I saw her live at 03 Cambells and she was stunning. A great performance that lit up the arena.

    Then in the short program at Dortmund, live, she was exciting and interesting. Definately the most electric performance of the evening.

    Then, in the long program at Dortmund, the evil twin sister was back. Live, that program sucked rotten eggs. Cautious, nervous, stiff and dull as dishwater.

  3. #18
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    okay, I'll bite...

    All I'll say is, she's on the right track, always focused on improving. I'd say her best is yet to come, and she's been making progress, whittling down more and more of those costly errors year after year. As Rgirl has pointed out a number of times, it took Shizuka Arakawa over half a decade to win the biggest title of the year, and Michelle did it after two years; the point is, every elite skater with the goods to take it all develops at a different pace and deals with the pressure differently, so, as Joe said, let's see.

    Cheers,

    Sarah

  4. #19
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hi, SarahMistral. I just noticed your last quote about Sasha in your signature, to the effect that when Sasha is "on" her performances are so spell-binding that even a small error can "break the spell." Does this make people more critical of Sasha than they would be of other skaters making similar errors, I wonder?

    Mathman

  5. #20
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    I agree Mathman. There are so many skaters who have trouble to skate clean but they are not as picked on regarding that as Sasha Cohen is. The fact is that there aren't many skaters who can have clean performances regularly. It just doesn't happen, those are the exception not the rule. Not even Michelle Kwan who is seen as so consistent is clean all the time. I think the only time she skated Tosca clean was at Nationals wasn't it? And the program was not very hard. It was even normal for her to struggle a little through the GP when she competed there, IIRC.

    I don't think Sasha is so inconsistent as people make her to be anyway. She usually skates the SPs very well, her exhibitions programs are usually flawless too and she has skated some clean LPs and others with only minor flaws... it's not like she always falls or has meltdowns all the time like Nicole Bobek or something.

    Sasha Cohen has lots of potential and is a fabulous performer, so I guess it upsets fans that she can't always skate clean the way they wished her to. Other skaters who aren't seen as talented or as good, clean programs or not won't make such a difference I guess.

  6. #21
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    I think the reason people get exasperated with Cohen is that at the really important events like Nationals and Worlds, she skates a terrific SP and is in position to win, then inexplicably crumps in the FS. And she does it very, very consistently. Look at Nationals and Worlds this year. At Nationals, she won the SP and the media predicted she was on her way to winning her first National Championship. She started her FS and was a little stiff and a lot cautious, and 2/3 of the way through, BAM! down she went, and gold was gone. Worlds was pretty much the same story. She sailed through the QR and SP in first place, and it seemed as if this time she was going to go all the way. Again, she started the FS tight and stiff, and botched her first jump and then her last jump, too.

    Sasha's problem is not necessarily with her skating. Sasha's problem is Sasha.

  7. #22
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    Hi Mathman!

    Actually, not only are people pickier with Sasha because of that, but there also seems to be a sort of vicious cycle that is set off with regards to expectations of Sasha: Media goes on and on about her obvious natural ability and how good she can be when she is on, then she makes a mistake (which as RISkatingFan pointed out, are not usually meltdowns a la Nicole Bobek, but rather the type of stuff that happens to the best of them), then her fans get all frustrated and wonder why she isn't perfect, and the non-fans who get irritated about all the media hype dismiss her as a head case who'll never get it together (rather than recognizing that she's just another elite skater who is prone to nervous and tired errors--elite skating's no walk in the park). It would be cool if we could all just sit back and enjoy what all the skaters have to offer and be tolerant when they fall; after all, it isn't Sasha out there harping on and on about how talented she is and about how she's the next big thing; she's just training hard like everyone else in a very demanding sport, and if people hype her up because of her talent, I don't think it's fair to come down extra hard on her when she makes a mistake. As for the extra-competitive streak she's criticized for at times, I think it's normal to be ambitious, because let's face it, no one at the elite level is out there purely for the love of skating, after having trained so very hard for so many years. So yeah, Mathman, pardon the digression, but to answer your question, I do think that there is a higher standard for Sasha, partly because of all the talent she has and of all the talk of the talent, and partly because, as anyone at the elite level who is aiming for the top (and she's steadily making progress towards it, I think), she's hungry, and if she weren't, she'd have retired and gone into pros already, so she'd better be hungry.

    I, for one, am just intrigued to see the programs all the skaters will debut next year, particularly Sasha, Yukina, and Michelle.

    Cheers,
    Sarah

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe
    I think the reason people get exasperated with Cohen is that at the really important events like Nationals and Worlds, she skates a terrific SP and is in position to win, then inexplicably crumps in the FS.
    See, I don't agree with that assessment that she "crumps". Just because a skater does well in the SP and just because they are talented and in position to win... doesn't mean they can do it LOL You mentioned Nationals and Worlds last season... but she still came in second in both, it's not like she splatted all over. And despite the criticism she got for her Worlds Swan Lake performance, we still don't know if the judges would have given her the gold had she not had that mistake in the salchow (I think Arakawa should have gotten gold with first place ordinals across the board, but that's another story).

    I think most people are not realizing that Sasha has been improving tremendously in the two past seasons and prefer to keep criticising her for not skating clean. First they criticized her for not skating clean. Then she started skating clean programs, so they criticized her for not skating clean LPs. Then she started skating clean LPs, so people went to say she chokes at major events It's a pity. I'm all for constructive criticism and see what skaters can do to improve, but when you keep hearing the same things over and over and watch people missing her enjoyable improvement because the only thing they seem to see in Sasha is that she can't always skate clean...

    Btw, Sarahmistral, ITA with your post.

  9. #24
    Busted sarahmistral's Avatar
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    I'm starting to think that RI stands for ReallyIntelligentSkatingFan

    But I'll have to PM you to ask what it stands for, as you once said we should.

    Cheers,
    Sarah

  10. #25
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    I don't think fans are any pickier on Sasha than on e.g. Sarah, Tara, or Michelle. It is not just the press who are hyping Sasha. Some of her fans love to blow the pre game talk to the sky. How many times have we seen some Cohen fans here at GS gushes Sasha is the best ever, and predicts Sasha will kick everyone butt at this competition and that. When some of her fans do so much pre game talk, there is likely to be response. F.S. is a sport, if fans are allowed pre game trash talk, then when their favorites fail to capture the big one, you bet there are responses. If fans want to have less responses, then some fans need to tone down the pre game trash talks. Imagine the LA lakers fans pre game trash talk, but when the Piston capture the championship, do you think Piston fans will be silent?

    BTW, I don't think there is anything wrong with HYPE, either from press or fans, as long as their favorites live up to the hype. MK was hyped, and Tara was even more HYPED, but they live up to it.

    About that Robin Wagner quote


    Some in the sport believe that because her skating is so elegant, Cohen is hurt more than others when an error interrupts the reverie she creates. 'It's like when you're listening to an orchestra,' Wagner said, 'and you hear one violin or cello go "eek" and it's disturbing much more than (it would be) in a mediocre performance.'
    I think that is one of the most oxymoronish quote from Wagner, and I am her fan. Top tier orhcestras with awesome string sections e.g. Philadelphia orchestra under Ormandy NEVER eek, not even once from one violinist or one cellist. These string players may not have the perfect intonation (not having perfect intonation is an error, but forgiveable error), but they don't eek. Not even second tier orchestras string players eek. EEKING is an unforgiveable error even from 4th tier orchestras, even college orchestras string sections don't eek.

    Maybe local high school orchestras eek. So why is Robin trying compare Cohen to some local high school orchestras?
    Last edited by rtureck; 07-10-2004 at 01:21 PM.

  11. #26
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    I for one am glad that Sasha is "slowly" improving verses winning everything at once. I personally feel that she is setting herself up quite nicely for an Olympic Gold in Turino which is more important that winning everything she enters in now. I think Sasha will win Worlds in 2005 and OGM in 2006. Her progress reminds me of another skater whom everyone seems to love : Kristi Yamaguchi. Kristi didn't make it onto the World Podium until 1991 when she won the thing and then won gold the next year. Yeah you might blame figures and pairs, but she had a few years to make mistakes and grow from them. I see Sasha making the same improvements and growing from her mistakes.



    RIfan; ITA about Shizuka and it was really wrong that MK would have even gotten first place ordinals against Shizuka's program. However the judges were in a generous mood that Worlds (6.0s for all who stand up).

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    I


    RIfan; ITA about Shizuka and it was really wrong that MK would have even gotten first place ordinals against Shizuka's program. However the judges were in a generous mood that Worlds (6.0s for all who stand up).
    I think it was even more wrong for Sasha to have 5.9s and 5.8s marks similar to Shizuka's because Sasha's lp in worlds was lifeless and ZZZZZ.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtureck
    I think it was even more wrong for Sasha to have 5.9s and 5.8s marks similar to Shizuka's because Sasha's lp in worlds was lifeless and ZZZZZ.
    Agreed. Talk about very generous scores.

    It seems as though at most competitions the commentators go on and on about how Sasha had "perfect practices all week". When she doesn't skate perfectly in the competition, it's like those commentators are trying to save their own face by then making comments about Sasha being a head case. I don't see this as Sasha's fault. Maybe she should have troubles in practice run throughs on purpose . Seriously, I can't see into Sasha's head, and maybe she does have a problem putting it all together in the big events, but I agree with many posters that she does get picked on more than she should (now she knows how Michelle feels). It must be hard for an athlete to hear and read what a head case he/she is.

  14. #29
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    "Imagine the LA lakers fans pre game trash talk, but when the Pistons capture the championship, do you think Piston fans will be silent?" -- RTureck
    Now you're talkin', RT. Heck no we won't keep quiet. Shaq, get back! The Fakers, oh I mean the Lakers, suck big time, and so do their fans! (Except Michelle, who was shown on TV a couple of times in game 2 -- the only game the Lakers won, BTW -- along with Jack Nicholson cheering on the hometown guys.)

    About orchestras that go EEK, doesn't Sarah H. play the violin? (OK, that was mean. Sorry, Sarah.)
    "ITA about Shizuka and it was really wrong that MK would have even gotten first place ordinals against Shizuka's program." -- Soogar
    As much as I love Shizuka, and as well as she skated all week, I still have to agree with the judges that ranked Michelle's free skate first. If you really watch with an unbiased eye, in terms of artistic maturity Michelle still remains in a class by herself.

    "It must be hard for an athlete to hear and read what a head case he/she is." -- Lucy
    I agree with this, too. I feel a lot more comfortable beating up on Shaquille Oneal (verbally) than on a tiny figure skater.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-08-2004 at 06:39 PM.

  15. #30
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    Random Sasha Thoughts

    Sasha reminds me of Nancy Kerrigan with her stunning short programs, then tight and error-prone in the free.

    A significant reason she has gotten more attention than Kwan the last two years is because she competed full-bore all season. Kwan opted out of GP series. 2005 will be a different story.

    I think Wagner can help Sasha with her mental game, which is the biggest thing holding her back. I do not think she can help Sasha choreographically.

    While she did have some problems in Dortmund, a silver medal at Worlds is a big step forward. 2004 was the year that officially put her among the international elite.

    I do not think 2005 will be the year of anyone. No one will dominate the season.

    I actually think Sasha is more likely to win 2005 Worlds rather than 2005 Nats. I think the fact that there are many top competitors there actually helps Sasha focus on her own performance. At Nationals it is basically "Michelle v. Sasha" and I think that makes Sasha very nervous. Plus, Worlds is in Russia this year, a country that has been very friendly to Sasha in the past.
    Last edited by Ogre Mage; 07-08-2004 at 07:24 PM.

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