Catching up with Sasha Cohen

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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Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

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Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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