Sasha Cohen

Catching up with Sasha Cohen

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Sasha Cohen‘s idea of retirement has been Ivy League school tag rugby, snap button socks and a Japanese game show.

Those are just a few of her highlights since her last figure skating competition four years ago. Cohen, who was fourth at the 2002 Olympics and won silver in 2006, has been a student at Columbia University in New York since 2011.

She’s 29 now and enjoying what she called the next phase of her life.

OlympicTalk recently caught up with Cohen to look back on her career and discuss her new endeavors.

OlympicTalk: Which skaters did you like to watch or compete against the most?

Cohen: I grew up skating with Yevgeny Plushenko and Aleksey Yagudin. I thought they had this amazing rivalry. I kind of came into the sport in that era of Nancy [Kerrigan] and Tonya [Harding] and this like golden era of skating, so it was very exciting.

I would say Michelle [Kwan] probably was the icon of that time that I skated with.

OlympicTalk: Which Olympic experience was cooler — 2002 or 2006?

Cohen: 2002, because it was new and in the U.S. I was younger. It was kind of all magical.

OlympicTalk: Where is your Olympic medal?

Cohen: My mom has it. It’s in my living room in California.

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OlympicTalk: What did you think of the skating in Sochi?

Cohen: It was phenomenal. It’s amazing to see every four years how much the sport progresses. I kind of fall by the wayside in between [Olympics], so to get to see it, I really loved it.

OlympicTalk: What are you doing now?

Cohen: I’m a junior at Columbia University, an international relations major. I’m minoring in business. I’m working at Morgan Stanley over the summer, just transitioning to a New York life. I’m also working with Robin Hood, a charity event as well as Figure Skating in Harlem. I’m enjoying New York and the next phase of my life.

OlympicTalk: You were on a Japanese game show recently?

Cohen: That was last summer. We had to like balance on these little columns that would be moving.

OlympicTalk: And if you fell?

Cohen: Just onto the floor. It didn’t hurt or anything. If you lose your balance, you get eliminated.

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Alysa Liu rallies to win Junior Grand Prix with another quadruple jump

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U.S. figure skating champion Alysa Liu landed a quadruple Lutz for a second straight Junior Grand Prix, rallying from fourth after the short program to win an event in Poland on Friday.

Liu, who in January became the youngest U.S. champion in history at age 13, won both of her starts in her first season on the Junior Grand Prix to become the first U.S. woman to qualify for the six-skater Junior Grand Prix Final since 2013 (Polina Edmunds and Karen Chen). The Final is held with the senior Grand Prix Final in Turin, Italy, in December.

She won Friday by 6.63 points by surpassing a pair of Russians, a rarity in this era. Her free skate is here.

Liu trailed by 4.03 points after doubling a planned triple loop in the short program. She was the lone skater in the field to attempt a triple Axel (landing three of them, including two in combination and one with a negative grade of execution) or a quad.

Liu tallied 138.99 points in the free skate and 203.10 overall. She ranks sixth in the world this season by best total scores among junior and senior skaters, though some top skaters have yet to compete.

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Rafaela Silva, first Brazilian gold medalist at Rio Olympics, claims innocence after positive drug test

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Rafaela Silva, the judoka who grew up in Rio’s most famously violent favela to become Brazil’s first gold medalist at the Rio Olympics, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance last month.

Silva tested positive for fenoterol, a substance that can be legal to treat asthma if an athlete has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE). Silva did not have a TUE before testing positive at the Pan American Games in August, according to Brazilian media.

A possible punishment has not been announced.

Silva claimed innocence at a news conference Friday afternoon, saying that a young child with whom she had bodily contact at her training location used the substance, and she plans to compete at a domestic event this weekend, according to O Globo.

Silva, 27, backed up her Rio Olympic 57kg title by taking bronze at the world championships later in August. If she is punished for the positive test, Silva could lose that bronze medal, though she said Friday that she had a clean drug test at worlds, according to O Globo.

Silva, from Rio’s Ciadade de Deus favela, has the Olympic rings tattooed on her right bicep with the inscription “God knows how much I’ve suffered and what I’ve done to get here.”

Brazil’s top female swimmer, Etiene Medeiros, reportedly tested positive for fenoterol in May 2016 but was cleared to compete at the Rio Olympics.

In PyeongChang, Slovenian hockey player Ziga Jeglic tested positive for fenoterol and was scratched before his nation’s last game before it was announced. Jeglic was suspended from the Games and, later, was suspended eight months.

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