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Thread: Discussion - Is Sasha's Skating Brittle or Fragile?

  1. #166
    Ice Angel
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    It's true that many other ladies progressed maybe faster than Sasha Cohen...Tara moved up fast and left the sport fast...if there are a couple of young artistic skaters competed at 98, I doubt Tara could win...Michelle did move up fast and learned all the triples by 12, but thinking about how much financial sacrifice her parents had made...Miki Ondo is a talented jumper, but the judges want to see a whole package...and none of above mastered a 2 axel so late till 12 years old...If TT could help Yags stamina problem, why could'nt she help Sasha? Each person has different genes and different skating history. If Sasha is smart and healthy, she should do GPs.

  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    btw, has she mentioned anything about skipping the GPs? Anyone have an update on Sasha Cohen?
    It would be very unusual for her to skip GP if she is healthy. She had a back injury last year before her scheduled events.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    ..... Anyone have an update on Sasha Cohen?
    Joe
    The last rumor I heard, she lost the loop recently. Was seen tried 10 of them non of them successful.....But this is early at the season. Remember last year when she first back to Cal, she lost all her triples. But did pretty good at Nationals.

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesslily
    It's true that many other ladies progressed maybe faster than Sasha Cohen...Tara moved up fast and left the sport fast...if there are a couple of young artistic skaters competed at 98, I doubt Tara could win..

    Here we go with the what if again. The fact is Tara has enough tech and art to win fair and square. She beat the best of the best of the time to win. A champion is able to do that, and MK demonstrated that at 15, Tara did that at 14, and Cohen is almost 21, and she is unable to so far. She is not Gods gift to skating, I know you are not claiming that she is. Cohen is not the most exquisite or the prettiest blah blah, just a good skater among many good skaters

  5. #170
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    I'd raher see a not-God-gifts-to-skating skate to 21 and beyong than a jumping bean left the sport shortly after obtaining the OG. Skating is not just for medal, the passion, the love for lifetime, contributing your own style are far more important.

  6. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by gezando
    Here we go with the what if again. The fact is Tara has enough tech and art to win fair and square. She beat the best of the best of the time to win. A champion is able to do that, and MK demonstrated that at 15, Tara did that at 14, and Cohen is almost 21, and she is unable to so far. She is not Gods gift to skating, I know you are not claiming that she is. Cohen is not the most exquisite or the prettiest blah blah, just a good skater among many good skaters
    To be fair to Cohen, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to compare skaters' ages at which they become successful. Every skater has their own timing and pacing, and other things play into winning worlds or the olys, not just the skater's own ability. They are so many talented skaters out there, but only a very few ever win any major title--so where would you put the others? Not to mention the very taletned ones like Deanna Stellato who once showed so much promise but had career ending inuries......chance is a large part of this. Cohen is definitely not the only one. And when you are young and good, you are fearless, and that's perhaps why Tara had the consistency she had that got her the gold--she was able to just go out there and do her job--when you get older, doing so becomes harder.
    Last edited by shine; 06-10-2005 at 10:40 AM.

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesslily
    I'd raher see a not-God-gifts-to-skating skate to 21 and beyong than a jumping bean left the sport shortly after obtaining the OG. Skating is not just for medal, the passion, the love for lifetime, contributing your own style are far more important.
    I think Tara had a ton of passion. Match up her olys LP with the best competitive program that the current 20 going on 21 y/o skater has to offer, Tara's program kicks butt
    Last edited by gezando; 06-10-2005 at 05:48 PM.

  8. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine
    --so where would you put the others? Not to mention the very taletned ones like Deanna Stellato who once showed so much promise but had career ending inuries......chance is a large part of this. Cohen is definitely not the only one. And when you are young and good, you are fearless, and that's perhaps why Tara had the consistency she had that got her the gold--she was able to just go out there and do her job--when you get older, doing so becomes harder.
    Interesting you mentioned DeDe, she competed against Cohen in junior world 2000 and won a silver, they are about the same age?

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine
    To be fair to Cohen, I don't think it makes a lot of sense to compare skaters' ages at which they become successful. Every skater has their own timing and pacing, and other things play into winning worlds or the olys, not just the skater's own ability. They are so many talented skaters out there, but only a very few ever win any major title--so where would you put the others? Not to mention the very taletned ones like Deanna Stellato who once showed so much promise but had career ending inuries......chance is a large part of this. Cohen is definitely not the only one. And when you are young and good, you are fearless, and that's perhaps why Tara had the consistency she had that got her the gold--she was able to just go out there and do her job--when you get older, doing so becomes harder.
    Good post, and I agree with you. Every one moves at their own pace, and there have been good, talented skaters out there that for whatever reason didn't win a big title, that doesn't take anything away from them. I think Tara was great at the Olys and deserve her win, she was amazing. However I couldn't compare her to Sasha, both of them have different styles, and have their own things they are good at.

  10. #175
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    Passion means you love something no matter what, it's a life long pursuing. Leaving a sport just because you come cross some difficulties, or just because you feel you won't be place high in the competitions, there is no passion to talk about. Few elite skaters can run clean program with string of triples, but the judges mostly did not place them ahead of Sasha or Irina. Why? The judges know only the skaters who have the whole package should be award higher placement.

  11. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesslily
    Passion means you love something no matter what, it's a life long pursuing. Leaving a sport just because you come cross some difficulties,
    Tara had a hip injury. Is passion a life long love, I think passion is associated more with intensity.
    Sasha or Irina. .
    Which bring back to one of my earlier post, Cohen was unable to close the deal to beat irina

  12. #177
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I think the description of 'passion' in figure skating is the most overused description of a skater or moreso for a team. All those skaters with pain on their faces which are hailed as passion just don't get to me.

    If one appreciates the human body, one can see more passion in body language than in superfiscial facial expessions especially when it is connecting to the music.

    Joe

  13. #178
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    You don't have to keep doing triple loop or lutz or all sorts of hard tricks to show you love skating, suffering the pain. Dorothy Hamill does not have any hard tricks than a double axel, but she has been in the show for all most three decades. Some articles mentioned she is not always pain free.

  14. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Jessilly - I was in Dortmund and Sasha skated an exquisite QR. She then went on with an equally beautiful SP. What happened in the LP is totally inexplicable. It had nothing to do with Wagner; nothing to do with TT; nothing to do with Swan Lake. Whatever it was she was not herself. I don't know if that was ever looked into by anyone afterwards.

    I thought her LP in Moscow was a big improvement in her overall presentation despite the flaws.
    Hey, Joe. Just wanted to say thanks to you and those others lucky ducks who reported on seeing Sasha skate a whole competition live, as well someone I can't recall who talked about watching Sasha practice. As has been discussed many times, there's just no comparison between watching a skater compete live vs. TV. Thanks for sharing your observations.

    BTW, I don't think Sasha is brittle or fragile. I think she moves very much like a dancer who studies and performs in the Horton and/or Cunningham style of technique. Both Horton and Cunningham are athletic and line oriented; have what some might interpret as a detached style of performing; and use strength and direction as their primary qualities of movement. I think Sasha was more flowing when working with Tarasova and that since the long transition back to Nicks, she's moving in a way that's more natural to her and that, I'm guessing, Nicks will help with her jumps. Also, if people do see Cohen as having a gymnastic style, what's wrong with that? Denise Beilman was said to have a gymnastics and aerobic style, and Midori Ito, during her eligible years, was said by many to have a "masculine" style (whatever that means) and no expression to her skating. Midori did become much more expressive as a pro. Denise got even stronger in her gymnastics and aerobics styles during her long pro career.

    [Off-topic to Joe: Did you see the "South Park" episode that spoofed Cirque du Soleil? They must have finally read your posts! It was an especially hilarious episode too.]

    Quote Originally Posted by jesslily
    In her book Sasha talked about right before 2004 world qualifying round she suddenly could not do 3loop. So Robin told her just do a spiral for that part...so it looked like she did a clean program...I did not pay much attention about her mind set during the long program...if she really skated before or after Shuzuka, it could be very nervious...some skaters are very nervious to skate in front of their formal coaches...Sasha mentioned a few things in her book which can tell she has strong mind to handle unexpected situation, such as at 2002 world she lost her 3 lutz before long, at Olympics, right before long, she realized her tights was lost during the security check.
    Thanks for including information from Sasha's book in which she talks specifically about her nerves. From skaters whose autobiographies I've read and those I've talked to--maybe 10 or 12--both elite and "everybody else" all talked about a time when a jump just "left them." From this small group, it ranged from having a solid jump for as long as 10 years and then, without injury or anything else they could readily figure out, they would lose the jump for perhaps just one competition or sometimes for years. I know it happens in other sports as well, i.e., pitchers lose a certain pitch, golfers their stroke, tennis players, gymnasts, you name it. If they could design it well, it sure would make an interesting study for sports psychology.

    Speaking of gymnasts, IMO, Sasha's style was more balletic than gymnastic when she was about 15 though she still had elements of both. As she grew, put on more muscle, and especially after she left Tarasova, her style seemed more gymnastic, meaning more staccato and hitting "punched" positions rather than the flowing style of ballet. I don't think one is better than the other; IMO, they're just different. But obviously a lot of people are going to prefer one style over the other. For me the important thing is not whether she has a gymnastic or balletic style; it's whichever one works best for her and allows her to express the feeling of the music and choreography.

    Another example of a different kind of gymnastic style, IMO, was Surya Bonaly when she competed as an eligible. Her style was so gymnastic and acrobatic that I felt it almost didn't matter what music she used. Yet when I saw her with COI during the mid to late '90s, it was like watching a completely different skater than who I saw on TV. With COI, she often skated to opera, which one normally would not associate with Surya, but with COI she seemed to express the music from the depth of her being and connected extremely well with the audience. The "hurky-jerky" quality I so often saw in her skating smoothed out into long flowing edges and connecting moves. She was a joy to watch and was one of the few COI skaters who consistently received standing ovations. Yet as soon as I saw her on TV in competition again--bluk! I haven't seen Sasha free herself up during COI performances, but I wonder if it would help if Mr. Nicks encouraged her to use her touring performances to open up and try to express the music from a deeply personal place. (Like she needs me as a coach, lol.)

    I also wanted to say "BADDA-BING!" to BronzeisGolden, NYMKFan, Mathman, Mzheng, Joe, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting for the way you state your opinions, negative though they may be (and this goes for any skater) without personally attacking the skater or other posters. Plus you get in some good laughs to boot. Also thanks Mathman for clarifying what you meant by "prettiest" and more power to you for getting out the ol' dictionary. BTW, at least on my server, if you type in dictionary.com it will take you right to an online dictionary, and a thesaurus, too. And Idle, that was a giant Megasashajakoffothesaurus you were showing in your photos, wasn't it?

    One comment about Sasha's consistency or lackthereof: Sasha's record as a senior skater starting with the most recent '05 competitions and going back four seasons to '91-'92, her nationals and international record is as follows:

    2005 Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating Challenge 2nd
    2005 World Championships 2nd
    2005 U.S. National Championships 2nd
    2004 Marshalls World Cup of Figure Skating 3rd
    2004 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic 3rd
    2004 Marshalls World Figure Skating Challenge 1st
    2004 World Championships 2nd
    2004 U.S. National Championships 2nd
    2003 Grand Prix Final 2nd
    2003 International Figure Skating Challenge 3rd
    2003 Trophee Lalique (Grand Prix) 1st
    2003 Skate Canada (Grand Prix) 1st
    2003 Skate America (Grand Prix) 1st
    2003 Campbell's International Figure Skating Classic 1st
    2003 ABC International Figure Skating Challenge 3rd
    2003 World Championships 4th
    2003 Grand Prix Final 1st
    2003 U.S. National Championships 3rd
    2002 Crest Whitestrips International Figure Skating Challenge 1st
    2002 Sears Figure Skating Open 1st
    2002 Cup of Russia 2nd
    2002 Trophee Lalique (Grand Prix) 1st
    2002 Skate Canada (Grand Prix) 1st
    2002 Campbell's International Figure Skating Championship 4th
    2002 World Championships 4th
    2002 Winter Olympics 4th
    2002 U.S. National Championships 2nd
    2001 Skate America 5th
    2001 Goodwill Games 4th
    2001 Trophee Lalique 3rd
    Source: http://www.sashacohen.com/competitions.shtml
    Out of 30 national and elite level international competions, here's a list of her finishes:
    10 First
    8 Second
    6 Third
    5 Fourth
    1 Fifth

    Obviously she's never won a World gold medal, but what I found interesting in looking at these results was the consistency of this skater who has gained such a record for inconsistency. For example, other skaters who finished ahead of Cohen at Worlds from '02 through '04 later on finished Worlds around 6th, 8th, or lower, or were unable to compete the following year due to injury. Cohen finished first during during all her GPS events in '02 and '03 except for one second; in '02 she won the GPF and in '03 she came in 2nd. In thinking of the other top skaters who participated in the GPS during these years, Cohen has the most consistent record by far when one takes into account the GPS, GPF, the ISU Challenges, Nationals, Worlds, and the '02 Olympics.

    I'm not saying anybody should like her skating based on numbers (Yeesh! That's like saying you should like a singer because his song is number one!) but these numbers do mean that Cohen has finished 80% of her elite competitions on the podium. I know, sometimes it's hard to call the cheesefests "elite" but at least the skaters participating in them are elite. These results also don't predict how she'll do in the future. The point I came away with looking at her record is that whatever problems Sasha has with her skating, at least she is keeping herself on the podium most of the time.

    Speaking of statistics, a request for some:
    Quote Originally Posted by gezando
    Oksana 2 foot her triple toe at olys 1994. [Rgirl: Actually she 2 footed her 3-Lutz on her 3-Lutz/2-toe combo. Also, Nancy Kerrigan never had a 3-Axel] But with her balletic and dance qualities, I could see why judges rewarded her. (Cohen unlike Oksana is not balletic, Sasha is gymnastic instead) Oksana stayed vertical, Cohen's staying vertical percentage is not as high as Oksana's.
    You mentioned this a couple of times. I was wondering if you had the statistics comparing Sasha and Oksana on the percentage of jumps attempted on which they completed, fell, and two-footed? You seem to state it as a fact, unless I'm misreading you.

    BTW, I like both Oksana and Sasha and was very sad to see the circumstances of Oksana's life plus injuries prevent her from fulfilling her potential as a profressional. When I saw her do "The Swan" live shortly after the Olympics in '94, she was breathtaking. She really was like a shooting star: dazzling, but only for a short time.

    Rgirl

  15. #180
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    Rgirl...what an awesome post. I don't anything to add so i didn't quote...just wanted to say i loved it. Now I understand what is meant by gymnastic style...and love your analysis of different forms of dance! thanks.

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