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Thread: Sasha Cohen at a crossroads this year

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    Sasha Cohen at a crossroads this year

    I believe this year's World Championships is where Sasha Cohen is at a huge crossroad in her career. She must do well and place in the top 3 to continue down the developmental road to Champion skater to Torino as one of the favorites for Gold, eventually developing enough in her skating to be Olympic Champion OR will a falter to a top 6 finish lead to a downslide into the Olympic year, a non-podium finish at Torino and a typical pro career touring?

    I do think the results for her, and her performance, is indeed pivotal at this point. It is a HUGE competition for her in the overall scheme of things.

    The pressure has got to be enormous.

    My prediction if things continue as they have been is the road to becoming the next Nicole Bobek on the tours. Famous to skating fans, lovely to watch and see perform, but not influencial in the development of figure skating as a sport, and not a Champion skater.

    Sasha is an impressive skater, but not an important skater, in the history of the sport, sort of like artists, who can be great artists, but not important in art history a la Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, etc. She will never be as important to figure skating as Sonja, Elaine, Peggy, Dorothy, Michelle, Katarina, Dick or Midori, for example.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Sasha is one of those skater's who is like the little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. (Do I have that right?)

    I haven't given up on her. There's just too much talent. True, it has to be tamed but it does hit once in a while and it just might in Moscow.

    Joe

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    To me it seems (and these are only my opinions) to me that Sasha has seemed to pay more attention to touring. And there's nothing wrong with it if you can balance touring and training for amature events too. Michelle Kwan seems to be doing the same thing also, so it's not just Sasha. Maybe she (and this goes for Kwan too) will surprise us all at worlds, but if they end up not showing their full potential at Worlds, then I certainly will think that they are spending too much time touring and not enough time practicing.... Sasha just has so much potential and I think she has the goods to become the World Champ AND Olympic Champ too.

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    Matt Savoie~Soul Skater CzarinaAnya's Avatar
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    She's not dumb, she's got a bagful of talent. If she is truly hungry for this medal, and I think she is, (she wouldn't have gone back to John Nicks if she wasn't). Hopefully, she'll be working on her concentration and jumps during this down time before World's.

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    All Hail Queen Yu-Na!!!!!! SailorGalaxia518's Avatar
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    Hey don't make fun of Cohen. That girl has potential........................................S he sometimes doesn't want to show it.

    If she can come between Michelle Kwan and Irina Slutskaya whose rivalry will probably fire back up in Moscow, will be a great accomplishment

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    Quote Originally Posted by SailorGalaxia518
    Hey don't make fun of Cohen. That girl has potential........................................
    Yeah, as much potential as I have... This talk of "potential" in Cohen's case is wearing out. For her, it's almost now or never. And with the type of season she's been having, I'll go with never for right now...And I also think she's gone by 2006 (or 2007 if Kwan leaves and she wants a shot at a National title. Then Kimmie will steal it from her )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Dog
    ..And I also think she's gone by 2006 (or 2007 if Kwan leaves and she wants a shot at a National title. Then Kimmie will steal it from her )
    She properbaly gone after 2006. But if Kwan leaves and she chose to stay, I don't think Kimmie will steal it from her yet. Kimmie's presentation has long way to go.

    Kwan and Cohen (may be Bebe if she can be aired more often) are the only US ladys I enjoy to watch now. And they are the money trees for USFSA now.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think on the whole I disagree with the premise that Worlds is a make or break situation for Sasha. I can see her making just enough mistakes at Worlds to miss the podium, but still bouncing back next year. To me, Sasha's basic skating is strong enough that in any given performance she might get through it still on her feet and win.

    Mathman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I think on the whole I disagree with the premise that Worlds is a make or break situation for Sasha. I can see her making just enough mistakes at Worlds to miss the podium, but still bouncing back next year. To me, Sasha's basic skating is strong enough that in any given performance she might get through it still on her feet and win.

    Mathman
    Agree. Her basic skating skill now is miles ahead of when she was at SLC (based on what TT said. TT did wonder to her skating. But on the otherside Sasha my over worked herself last two seasons, thus cause this season's regroup). And the CoP would give her more breaks than any other top ladies (since she is the one kept falling in LP, and the falling gets punished more under 6.0 than CoP). As long as she take full advantage of the system, milk out the maximun points on non jump elements. She already has the ability to perform level 3 spins and spirals, by the time next season rolling around she would have the ability to pull off a level 3 footwork.

    The only thing left for her to overcome is the mental toughness, falling once is OK (at least under CoP the way I see it). Just keep your performance level up.
    Last edited by mzheng; 02-15-2005 at 03:08 PM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I think on the whole I disagree with the premise that Worlds is a make or break situation for Sasha. I can see her making just enough mistakes at Worlds to miss the podium, but still bouncing back next year. To me, Sasha's basic skating is strong enough that in any given performance she might get through it still on her feet and win.Mathman
    If that happens, Sasha will be the dark horse to win the Olys. Not impossible.

    Joe

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    Both Sasha and Michelle were in 4th place in their second trips to Worlds; both got their first medal in their third trip to Worlds, and I give each skater one advantage point each. (1st trip to Worlds -- Michelle, 8th place; Sasha 4th place -- advantage point to Sasha; 3rd trip to Worlds -- first medal for both, Michelle with gold and Sasha with silver -- advantage point to Michelle.) Therefore, IMHO, Sasha might have a down year, just like Michelle did in 1997 -- and like 1997, it will not fatally destroy a career.

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    attyfan, one thing you have to consider is the difference between MK and Sasha's ages in the comparison that you are making. I think Sasha is at a tough age right now. I don't know for everyone else, but 20 and 21 were very hard for me. I think it's generally a tough time, in which, you feel that you want to do things your own way, but you don't completely trust yourself yet. Whenever I see Sasha's face before a final Free Skate, she just looks defeated.

    Most likely at Worlds, Sasha will be off the podium. I don't think that will affect her chances at the Olympics, though. She'll have as much of a chance to win as anyone else. If she's skating strong through the GPF, then I think we can expect a good showing for Sasha at Olys. Of course, though, the Olympics can do crazy things to people. I'm not sure why, but I think coming in 4th in 02 and being so close to medaling, can be a very negative thing for her, if she still has it in the back of her mind.

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    I don't see how being a multiple-time US silver medallist -- competing her whole career against the all-time National champion -- the reigning World silver medallist, GPF silver and gold medallist, and multiple-time winner of GP events is such a sorry record. Has Cohen ever come in less than fourth in a senior international competition?

    Perhaps Cohen has the potential to do better, but the only other eligible woman with a better record at her age is Kwan. Slutskaya's had her ups and downs and a year of not competiting. Arakawa's just came into her own last year, with inconsistent results until that time. Suguri and Sokolova have been inconsistent as well. Sebestyen has had a hard time stringing together good performances and building on her successes. Kostner, a skater full of potential, hasn't medalled yet at Worlds or Europeans.

    I don't take one injury-ridden year as doom and gloom for her. I agree that it's painful to watch her disappointment and confusion after she falters in competition, but that doesn't diminish what she's accomplished until now in a very competitive field.

    The math is fairly simple: if she falls, she will lose a certain amount of points, some of which she can make back with high levels of difficult on other elements and higher GOEs. If the judges start deducting for flutzes, then she will lose points. How much she can regain will depend on her competition. By falling, she loses control of her "destiny" in 6.0 terms, but if any competition is anywhere as messy as Europeans, she can be as competitive as anyone, IMO, because her spins, spirals, and footwork passes are not only difficult, but they are immaculate as well.

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    Figure Skating Fan Hikaru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    I don't see how being a multiple-time US silver medallist -- competing her whole career against the all-time National champion -- the reigning World silver medallist, GPF silver and gold medallist, and multiple-time winner of GP events is such a sorry record. Has Cohen ever come in less than fourth in a senior international competition?

    Perhaps Cohen has the potential to do better, but the only other eligible woman with a better record at her age is Kwan. Slutskaya's had her ups and downs and a year of not competiting. Arakawa's just came into her own last year, with inconsistent results until that time. Suguri and Sokolova have been inconsistent as well. Sebestyen has had a hard time stringing together good performances and building on her successes. Kostner, a skater full of potential, hasn't medalled yet at Worlds or Europeans.

    I don't take one injury-ridden year as doom and gloom for her. I agree that it's painful to watch her disappointment and confusion after she falters in competition, but that doesn't diminish what she's accomplished until now in a very competitive field.

    The math is fairly simple: if she falls, she will lose a certain amount of points, some of which she can make back with high levels of difficult on other elements and higher GOEs. If the judges start deducting for flutzes, then she will lose points. How much she can regain will depend on her competition. By falling, she loses control of her "destiny" in 6.0 terms, but if any competition is anywhere as messy as Europeans, she can be as competitive as anyone, IMO, because her spins, spirals, and footwork passes are not only difficult, but they are immaculate as well.
    I agree

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    Custom Title brad640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
    The math is fairly simple: if she falls, she will lose a certain amount of points, some of which she can make back with high levels of difficult on other elements and higher GOEs. If the judges start deducting for flutzes, then she will lose points. How much she can regain will depend on her competition. By falling, she loses control of her "destiny" in 6.0 terms, but if any competition is anywhere as messy as Europeans, she can be as competitive as anyone, IMO, because her spins, spirals, and footwork passes are not only difficult, but they are immaculate as well.
    You are right, and I think Sasha is definitely in contention for a medal at wolrds. I thought she showed improvement in her interpretation at nationals, and her PCS should reflect that. As you say, she has maintained a high quality on all her non-jump elements, so she should be rewarded with high GoE.

    The concern I have is that John Nicks has not been known to make the best coaching choices for Sasha. At SLC, she would have been better off not risking the 3z3t. Also, he allowed her to practice her quad, which was a waste of time and led to injury. She said in her journal that she has been working on a 3-3 and a "new jump." Maybe this is a good strategy to help her confidence, but I wonder if John Nicks really knows how to prepare her to compete under CoP.

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