February 25, 2012

Insurmountable Beauty On Ice - My Completely "Biased" Account Of Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen
Image via Wikipedia
A very casual capturing figure skating competition last night on TV reminded me again my favorite skater Sasha Cohen. She no longer participate any competitions, but for me, she has pressed an immortal shinning marks on figure skating sport.

I was a huge "Sasha fan", and I still am. I always wonder, how could it be possible for those who really "understand" the beauty of her skating really stand to watch other skaters'? I could not! That's why I quit watch figure skating after Sasha retired.

Of course, my remark is subjective, and I meant to be, because for me, Cohen surpassed all those before her, and is unparalleled by any one after her. For me, not only she had reached the highest techniques (except her jumps), but also displayed the most beautiful form (on ice) of humanity. Like most people who care figure skating already know, Sasha Cohen moved with music, slow or fast, spin or jump, amazing footwork or perfect spiral, her performances expressed all the cherished quality of mankind - grace, love, relaxation, passion, even courage and valor.

I had not caught Cohen's golden time (what a pity!) - approximately 2001-2005. I knew her because I incidentally watched 2006 winter Olympic game and saw her performances. She fell during her free skate program (as "promised"), but her short program was simply stunning. This Olympic participation was proved a very late stage of Cohen's ice skating life, as she retired soon after, but the brilliance of this "sunset" made me searching on internet for all her previous performances (big thanks to youtube). And what I found absolutely made me "falling in love".

Her best performances by my opinion, were those programs during 2002-2004 (under her Russian Coach Titiana Tarasova), such as "Swan Lake", "Malaguena", or "Rachmaninoff" (all of them choreographed by Tarosova - this lady is remarkable!).  My personal favorite is Rachmaninoff. She performed this program in 2002 - 2003 season, include 2003 World Championship, which I personally think was her best performance ever, regardless that fact that her fell several time, include one of most impossible fall on ice skating - she fell during flying camel!.

Yes, Sasha Cohen was not perfect - she fell quite often (likely due to her mental barriers), but that doesn't hurt her perfection in my eyes. No doubt she is one of most beautiful female skaters, but she certainly had much more than good looking. She seems to possess a natural talent on positioning, and easily move harmonically with music. Yes, she made figure skating looks easy. And she "visualized" music.

Cohen won a great deal of medals. But unfortunately figure skating is more a sport than art, so she did not won as many as she deserves (of course the judges' biased view was one of reasons too). But this doesn't matter. For me, she elevated this sport onto an artistic level like no one else. As Peggy Flaming said during Cohen's performing "Romeo and Julie": other skaters skate Julie, Sasha is Julie!*

Romeo And Julie
Swan Lake
A tribute to Sasha Cohen

 *Sorry I could not find the original source of this comment.
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  1. I always liked Sasha Cohen. I used to be an avid fan of figure skating--it is one of the few sports I really enjoy watching.

    The whole athletic vs. artistic debate continues, with athletic winning out every time. It is frustrating for me, as well, Yun Yi.

    Well, now I know something more about you that we share!

    I think Sasha would love to know that she has not been forgotten.

  2. Thanks Psachono! Glad we have same taste on ice:-)