Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen talks Shaun White, figure skating, college life

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Olympic silver medalist figure skater Sasha Cohen stopped by SB Nation for a 30-minute video chat published Friday. There was plenty to talk about.

Cohen, 28, discussed taking Russian at Columbia University, her Pomeranian, Pippa, and her business ventures, including Snoxx and Thuzio.

She also dished on skating. Topics ranged from “Blades of Glory” to tour life and even mentions of Tonya Harding and Midori Ito.

And, yes, Shaun White came up. Cohen was asked if she had met anybody notable outside of figure skating at the 2006 Olympics.

White, she said, bringing up the much-talked (and written-) about date request that the Olympic champion snowboarder made after winning gold at the Torino Games.

“I hung out with him at the end, the closing ceremonies, but by then there had been a lot of back and forth through USA Today and blah, blah, blah, before we even met,” she said. “And nothing more exciting to tell, unfortunately.”

Coincidentally, White is currently in Cohen’s city, New York, where he’s performing with his band, Bad Things.

Other tidbits from the wide-ranging interview:

• Asked if she ever suggested music for her programs but had it rejected, she replied: “Every Britney Spears song.”

• Her skating skills haven’t translated to roller blading. She falls a lot, even lost a wheel in SoHo. Not having a toe pick makes it tougher, she said.

• On figure skating bullies: “There’s definitely people that hog the music and don’t share and get in your way and purposefully don’t move out of your way (during practice).”

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future

Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future