Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cohen has no regrets after U.S. Championships

Sasha Cohen met the press tonight with her head held high and a twinkle in her eye.

The 25-year-old had a rough free skate to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, but she doesn't regret her trip to Spokane for a minute.

"This was really special for me," she said. "I was really happy I could come back to fight and be here after four years.

"I was disappointed with my free skate. It wasn't what I was looking for, but I still enjoyed being out there and performing for the audience."

A few hours after the ladies' free skate, U.S. Figure Skating President Pat St. Peter made it official: Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu, the top two finishers at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships, have been nominated for the U.S. Olympic team.

Cohen's bid for a third Olympics had fallen short.

Talking about Cohen has been every skating person's favorite pastime the past few weeks. Could she still do some triple jumps? Would she really show up in Spokane? If she did, could she sustain her performance magic through a four-minute free skate?

The reigning Olympic silver medalist answered the first two questions with a resounding second-place showing in the short that included a triple Lutz-double toe and triple flip. But, as her longtime coach John Nicks warned, "The short was great, but it was just a start."

In her free skate, the skater gamely attempted six triple jumps, but had negative grades of execution on all of them. As always, she thrilled the crowd with spiral sequence and elegant presentation.

"I wanted to challenge myself and compete again, and I'm so glad I did," Cohen said. "The U.S. girls are so young, so exciting, it's really fun to watch them.

"No regrets; I'm just proud to be back after four years with this new group of girls."

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