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“Sasha looked like a little tiger cub.” Why Tarasova’s favorite never won the Olympics

Date: July 16, 2024 Time: 20:42:36

Sasha Cohen holds a special place in the history of world figure skating. The talented American became a star thanks to her work with Russian coaches. Her tandem with the great Tatyana Tarasova was extremely successful and brought the athlete numerous awards at prestigious competitions. However, Cohen’s fairy tale soon ended: she Sasha recklessly violated the rules set by her mentor, ending her cooperation.

As a result, the athlete was forced to start all over again. And although she managed to take silver at the Turin Olympics, Tarasova regretted to the end that the former student did not fully realize her potential.

How did it happen?

Training with the father of a Hollywood star from Russia

Sasha Cohen didn’t get into figure skating right away. At first, the girl, like her mother, did gymnastics, and only then went on skates. At the same time, the father of Russian Hollywood actor Anton Yelchin, Viktor Yelchin, was the first mentor of the future star of the US national team. Under her guidance, the young athlete studied the basics of figure skating and developed skills that later became her main feature – Cohen was famous for her incredible plasticity and expressiveness on ice. She perfect Bielmann, phenomenal spirals, beautiful swallows and beautiful splits in the high jump – all this was Sasha’s calling card, which she worked hard and for a long time in the training room.

The first significant success of the figure skater was silver at the US adult championships in 2000. She was then 16 years old, so she did not reach the world championships. But the goal was marked and she Sasha was not going to retreat. In the Olympic season, Cohen again placed second in the national championships and earned a trip to the Salt Lake City Games. In the main start of the quadrennium, the American had an impeccable performance and stopped one step away from the podium.

Sasha Cohen

Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Image

The wooden medal of the Olympic Games was too insulting a reward, so Sasha decided to make drastic changes and left her former coach John Nix for Tatyana Tarasova. According to the skater’s mother, Galina, she was serious and was not afraid of a sharp move.

“In the summer of 2003 we were informed that my daughter had decided to move to another coast. It is true that she said that she would very much like us to go with her, but immediately added: “If it is too difficult, I will leave it alone,” he recalled.

Transition to Tarasova and brilliant victory in the Grand Prix final

At first, the tandem with Tarasova was extremely successful. Thanks to Tatyana Anatolyevna, Cohen reached a new level and began to win prestigious tournaments. In the 2002/2003 season, Sasha won two of the three Grand Prix stages in Canada and France, eventually taking gold in the series finale. The figure skater admired her work with our mentor and she reciprocated: her relationship was excellent and she was more reminiscent of a mother’s communication with her daughter.

“Sasha Cohen loves to think about it. I made it simple but delicious. She couldn’t do much, she was constantly watching so as not to gain 300 grams. But when I made turkey with apples and plums, Sasha praised it endlessly.

We had a completely Russian house. It didn’t bother me that he didn’t speak English. I spoke Russian with the Americans, with Cohen,” Tarasova shared the details of that time.

Sasha Cohen and Tatyana Tarasova

Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The coach noticed the enormous potential of her student and, of course, wanted to realize it. True, Tatyana Anatolyevna failed to make Cohen an Olympic champion; after a series of brilliant victories, Sasha’s demeanor changed dramatically.

Did Cohen’s feisty personality keep her from becoming a champion?

The following year, the American won every stage of the Grand Prix, but that did not earn her gold in the final. And the reason for this was completely ridiculous: Cohen fell ill while going for a walk after the competition in France, and instead of recovering, she Sasha continued to compete in small tournaments, where she lost from time to time. Naturally, the athlete could not recover, let alone reach his top form, and lost in Colorado Springs to the Japanese Fumie Suguri.

The defeat in the Grand Prix final was the end point of the cooperation between Cohen and Tarasova. Midway through the season, Sasha changed coaches to Robin Wagner. With her, the skater went to the World Championships in the hope of winning a gold medal. However, she was in for a huge disappointment. Koen stopped one step away from victory, and Shizuka Arakawa, Tatyana Anatolyevna’s new pupil, was ahead of her! Tarasova was not lost when her beloved student left and she found an athlete with whom she could share her knowledge. By the way, it was Arakawa who became the 2006 Olympic champion, again leaving Cohen in second place.

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Obviously, Sasha was not counting on this. She went from Tarasova to Wagner and then back to Nix for the result, but she never became a champion. After the silver of the Games, the athlete put an end to her career.

So what caused such a sad result? Despite the fact that both Cohen and Tarasova were as diplomatic as possible when saying goodbye, thanking each other for the work done, there was a tension in their words. Over time, Tatyana Anatolyevna confirmed the words of another mentor, Sasha, that she relaxed a little and was carried away by things far from sports.

“I pity her. It’s not that I put a lot of effort into Cohen; other coaches put much more effort into it. I usually regret any talent that something happens with. Sasha got a little lost.

Sometimes we had a true understanding. I really enjoyed working with her. Sasha looked like a little tiger cub with chubby paws and you could see how she was gaining strength. And then she got sick. One, another… Also, these diseases started after some violations, without any relation to training.

I remember Sasha baking cookies all day and all night before Christmas. It was an absolutely amazing cookie – 12 different varieties. She brought me a huge heavy box and mailed another fifty boxes to my friends. But the next day, of course, I couldn’t train. Or go on those shopping trips that she does in Paris… ”, Tarasova said in a conversation with Elena Vaitsekhovskaya.

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The mentor regretted that she could not reach out to the student and help her focus on a higher goal. Thanks to Tatyana Anatolyevna, Sasha Cohen was able to achieve incredible success in figure skating, but it happened a little differently.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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