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Sasha Cohen

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Biography

Alexandra Pauline "Sasha" Cohen (born October 26, 1984) is an American figure skater. She is the 2006 U.S. National Champion, 2003 Grand Prix Final Champion, and 2006 Olympic silver medalist.

Cohen was born in Westwood, California, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Her mother, Galina Feldman, is a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine and a former ballet dancer; her father, Roger Cohen, is a Jewish American business consultant who used to practice law. Sasha attended Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, California and graduated from Futures High School in Mission Viejo, California in 2002. Her sister, Natalia ("Natasha"), began college at Barnard College in August 2006. A gymnast from an early age, Cohen switched to figure skating when she was seven years old, but it wasn't until she was 10 that she began to take the sport seriously.

Cohen rose to prominence in the skating community during the 2000 United States Figure Skating Championships. Just up from juniors, Cohen dropped from first place after the short program to second after the free skating and qualified for the world team. Too young for the World Figure Skating Championships, a loophole at the time would have allowed her to compete in senior worlds if she medaled at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Cohen did not medal at world juniors and so did not go to senior worlds.

Cohen started her Olympic season by placing 1st at the Campbell's International Figure Skating Challenge. Soon after she withdrew from Skate America due to a hip injury. She took 2nd place at Trophée Eric Bompard. In 2006, Cohen overcame the flu to capture her first U.S. National Championship. With this victory Cohen automatically secured her place on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2006 Winter Olympics, a spot made official on January 14 of that year by the United States Figure Skating Association.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Cohen was in 1st after the short program, leading Russia's Irina Slutskaya by a mere .03 points. In the final free skate, Cohen fell on her first jump, a triple Lutz, and had her hands down on her second jump, the triple-flip. She completed the rest of her elements, including five triples. Cohen finished with a Olympic silver medal, her first Olympic medal. The Olympic gold medalist, Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, won by 7.98 points over Cohen.

In December 2006, Cohen announced that she needed "a little down time from competing" and that she will not defend her US Figure Skating Championship title in 2007. She again stressed that her "major goals" are the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships and the 2010 Olympics; "I know I want to be in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics."

1995/1996: Michelle Kwan | 1996/1997-1997/1998: Tara Lipinski | 1998/1999: Tatiana Malinina | 1999/2000-2001/2002: Irina Slutskaya | 2002/2003: Sasha Cohen | 2003/2004: Fumie Suguri | 2004/2005: Irina Slutskaya | 2005/2006: Mao Asada | 2006/2007: Kim Yu-Na



 


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