Sasha Cohen Biellmann
These past two years, it's been nice, but it's a little too nice every day. You know what? I want to be ecstatic or I want to be miserable. I want to really feel alive, to have that performance out there, that heightened sensation of being alive. [1]

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.

Latest NewsEdit

  • Cohen is currently on tour with Smucker's Stars on Ice for their 2009 production "On the Edge". [2]
  • In a March 7 article in the Windsor Star, Cohen told reporter Ted Shaw that she will wait until June to decide whether she will compete in the 2010 Olympics. Cohen went on to say: "Sure, I would like to win a medal. But more than anything I just want to be out there competing again. I want that sense of purpose again in my life, that challenge." [3]


Sasha Cohen - 2000 Nationals Short Program

Sasha Cohen - 2000 Nationals Short Program

Sasha performing at 10 years old! The performance that put Cohen on the map
Considered one of Cohen's best performances Sasha discusses her silver medal win on Ellen

Image GalleryEdit


  • Economics was Cohen's favorite subject in high school. [4]
  • Cohen likes designing costumes, making jewelry, rock climbing shopping, spending time with her friends and watching "Will and Grace". [4]
  • Cohen's favorite foods include beef stew and tacos. When competing, Cohen likes to have eggs or cereal for breakfast, a roast beef sandwich for lunch and filet mignon for dinner. [4]
  • You can find Cohens 2006 Olympic ice skates at NYC's Sports Museum of America. [5]
  • Joan of Arc is the historical figure that Cohen identifies with the most. Audrey Hepburn is the person Cohen admires the most. [6]
  • If Cohen was reincarnated, she thinks she would come back as a tiger. [6]


Sasha cohen2
Cohen sasha

At a Varity Fair Post-Oscar Party

Skating has always been a major area of interest to me. I’m a competitive person and I love the challenge of mastering new things. It seemed natural to get involved in skating. [4]
I love competitive skating. Winning is great, but really it's more about the personal challenge, seeing how much better you can be, how much you can push yourself. [3]
I love the freedom of expression and the chance to interpret the music, and challenge myself athletically as well. [7]
Every day I wanted to get better and learn something new and it just became my life. [7]
When I was younger, it wasn't about me. It was about trying to beat everyone and win. As I've gotten older, I've understood that gold medals are nice, but that's just one moment and it passes. You can live your whole life for it, but then you might be sick or injured or have equipment problems, and then, after those few minutes, it's over, anyway. What you have to do is like the process and what you discover about yourself. [1]
When I was 13, I saw Tara Lipinski win the Olympics and it really motivated me. Her win happened unexpectedly and it was a great motivating factor for me. I also became very serious about skating when Kristi Yamaguchi won the gold at the Olympics. I really admire Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton and Kristi Yamaguchi. [4]
I believe that to achieve your goals and feel good about yourself, there are two important things to remember: eat smart and stay in shape. Eating right by getting rich nutrients from foods like red meat builds my body and makes me feel great on the inside and outside. I hope to show girls that eating smart, without giving up their favorite foods, can help them be their best in all areas of their lives. [4]

When asked what's most interesting part of being in the Olympics:

I think representing your country and being part of a team. Not just for your own sport but of so many different winter sports and being on a platform where the whole world really stops to pay attention to the athletes and appreciates what they’ve given their whole life for. And it’s just wonderful and magical and intense. It’s an amazing experience. [8]

On being in Stars on Ice:

It's fun. I love the performing and the travel. And there's a great friendship among the skaters. When you train, you're off by yourself away from the spotlight and it can be pretty depressing at times. [3]

The best skating advice she's ever received:

Just to have perspective and know that if you have a bad day, it’s just a bad day. It’s not your life. It’s not everything. And, you know, what goes up will come down and it’s just how life goes. [8]

Personal lifeEdit

Cohen was born in Westwood, California, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. Her nickname "Sasha" is a Russian nickname for "Alexandra." Her mother, Galina Feldman, is a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine and a former ballet dancer; her father, Roger Cohen, is a Jew business consultant who is an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney LLP. 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.

In 2005, she published her autobiography, Fire on Ice.

Cohen understands Russian.

Skating careerEdit


At a press conference at the 2006 Olympics


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 did not compete at the 2001 Nationals due to a stress fracture in her back, but took back her silver medal at the 2002 Nationals, earning her a trip to the Olympics. Cohen competed at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, finishing 4th. Her best season was 2003–04, when she took gold at three Grand Prix events and silver at both the U.S. National Championships and the World Championships. Cohen placed 2nd at the 2005 U.S. National Championships in Portland and the World Championships in Moscow, Russia. She withdrew from the 2005 2003 Grand Prix Final Champion events due to a recurring back injury.

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, where she fell on a triple Salchow during her free skate. 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 Olympic silver medalist, a spot made official on January 14 of that year by the United States Figure Skating Association.

At the figure skater in Torino, 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 figure skater, 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 an Olympic silver medal, her first Olympic medal. The Olympic gold medalist, Shizuka Arakawa of Japan, won by 7.98 points over Cohen.

A month later at the 2006 World Championships in Calgary, Canada, Cohen was in 1st place after the short program. Completing only one jump combination and falling on the triple Salchow, she placed fourth in the free skate and won the bronze medal, finishing almost ten points behind her teammate, gold medalist Kimmie Meissner. Cohen displayed strong artistry in her free skate and picked up level fours on all her figure skater and her spiral sequence. Her program component score of 61.35 was the highest of the night.

Post 2006 OlympicsEdit

During April 2006, Cohen started the Champions on Ice tour, participated in the second annual "Skating with the Stars, Under the Stars" gala in Central Park and performed in the Marshalls U.S. Figure Skating International Showcase. On April 15, 2006, Cohen announced that she intends to compete into the 2010 season and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She said via her official website, "I will decide after the COI Tour how much skating and what events I will do next season."

In December 2006, Cohen announced that she needed "a little downtime 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."

Cohen did not compete in the 2006-07 competitive season, although she did perform exhibitions, including at the Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting and at USFSA-approved events. She has not given up her Olympic eligibility.

Cohen was a headliner in the 2007-08 Stars on Ice tour.

Coaching changesEdit

Cohen was coached by John Nicks until the summer of 2002, when she relocated to Simsbury, Connecticut to train with Russian coach Tatiana Tarasova, who choreographed Cohen's Swan Lake program and upgraded her footwork. Under Tarasova's coaching, Cohen landed her first triple-triple combination in competition, a triple lutz-triple toe. Also, Cohen completed her first clean free skate in the qualifying round at the 2003 World Championships. She changed coaches again in January 2004 to Robin Wagner (who coached Sarah Hughes to Olympic gold) in Hackensack, New Jersey. In December 2004, Cohen returned to California to work with her original coach, John Nicks, who trained her to compete in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Nicks, who is very knowledgeable on the Code of Points system, helped Cohen increase the difficulty of her spins and spirals, as well as her jumps, to maximize her performances under the new system. She also worked with different people for some tips on bowing at the end of competition.

Skating trademarksEdit

Sasha Cohen 2

Cohen performs an I-spin

Cohen is known for being a talented skater, though her critics say she has never skated two clean programs in a row. Her supporters credit her spiral positions as the best in the skating world due to incredibly flexed positions. She is the first skater to have received +3s for spirals in the new judging system for 'Grade of Execution.' She is also known for difficult and creative positions in her spins, such as the "I" spin position which she popularized, and is also sometimes called the "Sasha spin."

Acting careerEdit


Cohen has done commercials for Citizen Watch, Simply Saline, and Got Milk?. She appeared in Episode 7 of the second season of Project Runway wherein designers were challenged to design a skating dress for her. The winning dress (by Zulema Griffin) did not fit and the dress had to be resized. Cohen has made a brief appearance guest starring, as herself, on the May 5, 2006, episode of the NBC Drama, Las Vegas. Cohen has also appeared in the television crime drama CSI:NY. In April 2008, she appeared as a contortionist on the premiere episode of Secret Talents of the Stars and advanced to the semifinals, although the show was cancelled before she could perform again.


Cohen played Fiona Hughes in the Don Johnson movie Moondance Alexander. At the 2006 Academy Awards, Cohen served as a guest correspondent for Inside Edition. This experience led to an encounter with Ben Stiller and a discussion about having a part in a future comedy about figure skating, which Cohen said she would enjoy. In 2007, she appeared as herself in Blades of Glory (film). Later that year, she also had a role in Bratz: The Movie.

Competitive highlightsEdit

Event 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005 2005-2006
Winter Olympic Games 4th 2nd
World Championships 4th 4th 2nd 2nd 3rd
World Junior Championships 6th
U.S. Championships 6th N. 2nd J. 2nd WD 2nd 3rd 2nd 2nd 1st
2003 Grand Prix Final Champion 1st 2nd
Trophee Eric Bompard 3rd 1st 1st 2nd
Skate Canada 1st 1st
Skate America 5th 1st
Cup of Russia 4th 2nd
Nations Cup 5th
Finlandia Trophy 1st
Junior Grand Prix, Sweden 1st
Gardena Spring Trophy 1st J.
Pacific Coast Sectionals 2nd N. 1st J. 1st
Southwest Pacific Regionals 2nd N. 1st J.
  • N = Novice level; J = Junior level; WD = Withdrew

Detailed placements by seasonEdit


Did not qualify


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sasha Cohen's Big Gamble, Bob Ford, Philadelphia Inquirer. February 27, 2009.
  2. Smucker's Stars on Ice with Sasha Cohen, March 4, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 California girl, Ted Shaw, The Windsor Star. March 7, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Interview with Sasha Cohen, TeenFX.
  6. 6.0 6.1 About me,
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sasha Cohen one of many 'Stars on Ice' Des Plaines Times, Myrna Petlicki. February 19, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Olympic medalist Sasha Cohen lives 'On the Edge', January Holmes, Bradenton Herald. February 26, 2009.
  • Cohen, Sasha. (2006). Fire on Ice (Revised Edition): Autobiography of a Champion Figure Skater. Collins. ISBN 0-06-115385-0

External linksEdit

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