Monday, May 11, 2009

The Op-Ed: The Cohen Conundrum

Sasha Cohen's presumptive return to competitive skating still has the figure skating world in a bit of a buzz. It's kind of like drinking a lot of caffeine and that energy that ensues for the next few hours.

But that buzz is certain to wear off and then the crash. And that crash, for many hardcore Cohen fans, will be the actualization that this isn't in the bag...by a long shot!

As much as this sport needs Cohen right now (and believe you me...it needs her), it may be that she is left shrugging her shoulders and saying "I tried" on that January evening in Spokane, Washington.

Many are saying, "have you looked at the state of our ladies figure skating now...she's so in." But I say hold your horses! There will be formidable competition.

First off...for her debut at Senior Worlds, Rachael Flatt was pretty spectacular (I was there...I saw it!). Equally impressive was Caroline Zhang at the Four Continents Cup a few weeks prior (I was there...I saw it!). Let's none of us forget Ashley Wagner's big come from behind at Nationals (again...I was there...I saw it!). Speaking of Nationals, when our National champ Czisny manages to put a short and long together, magic ensues.

And what about the cast of others out there. Question marks all, inconsistent maybe, but they can't be written off. I'm talking about Meissner, Hughes, Liang, Musademba, Gilles, and dare I say the big question mark Kwan (I darest...but her window to decide is getting shorter, she doesn't have the same Olympic Medal luxury that Cohen had...she'll have to qualify the good ole' fashioned way!).

By accounts, however, Cohen is in the thick of it. Just last week the Baltimore Sun reported that she's been training with Artunian now for six months now, is fit as a fiddle (save a little tendinitis...but don't all elite skaters deal with that a little?), and on the verge of hitting those triple-triple that she'll desperately need to compete with not only her American peers, but the international heavy hitters (see top 4 at Worlds!).

The two things I love best about all of this is the fact that American's will have a reason to tune in to skating this season...something that has been sorely lacking in recent years, and I love the fighting spirit she has. It takes chutzpah to go after an Olympic Dream that seems very hard to attain!

4 comments:

Katrina said...

Don't forget Kimmie Misner and Emily Hughes either. I think we'll see them come October...

Could you explain this: "doesn't have the same Olympic Medal luxury that Cohen had...she'll have to qualify the good ole' fashioned way!"
What do you mean?

Katrina said...

And I need to read more carefully ;) Whops

Aaron said...

Katrina...I see you ran into the same confusion at Required Elements...

U.S. Figure Skating Rules state that an Olympic Medalist has an automatic bye to the next Nationals they compete in. Sasha is the reigning Olympic Silver Medalist so therefore earned that bye...so happens that 2010 will be the first nationals she's competed in since winning that medal.

Michelle Kwan did not win an Olympic Medal in 2006 so therefore must qualify for Nationals via Sectional competition (i.e Pacific Coast Sectional Championships).

That make sense?

Katrina said...

ahh ok, thanks aaron! I don't know if I agree with that rule but I guess it makes sense