Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Sasha Cohen performing her short program at the 2006 Olympics in Torino (Photo: Wally Skalij)

With unrivalled elegance and amazing flexibility, Sasha Cohen should have been a multi-year US national champion and Olympic Gold medallist, but freakishly bad luck haunted her competitive career.

First, her era was dominated by other great skaters, Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, and Shizuka Arakawa, against whom Sasha would constantly find herself coming in second. It was almost farcical how these ladies would tag team on denying Sasha the gold medal. If Slutskaya would have a bad skate, then Arakawa would deliver an all-time classic program. If Kwan was out with an injury, then Slutskaya would would recover from an illness, better than ever!!!

And then there was her performance jinx. Time and time again, Sasha would offer awesome programs, perfect in every way but for a single fall. The contrast was harsh, like a beautiful model on the cover of a fashion magazine with a pimple on her nose, like a pristine and lacy white wedding dress with a smear of ketchup over the heart, distracting the viewer from the overall beauty and grace. Watching Sasha skate was a stressful experience, waiting for the inevitable fall, anticipating the slip that would topple her from the top of the podium.

Sasha Cohen was born on October 26, 1984.

Some say that second place is just the first loser. I can understand that point of view, but, when I look at her accomplishments, Sasha will always be a winner.

Let's look at some of her best performances.

"Dark Eyes" Short Program at Torino Olympics 2006

"Nutcracker" Free Skate at Moscow Worlds Championship 2005 

"Swan Lake" Free Skate at Skate America 2003

"Romeo and Juliet" Free Skate at US National Championship 2006

Happy Birthday, Sasha!!!


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