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Oct. 9 2009 - 8:07 pm | 197 views | 0 recommendations | 7 comments

Cohen drops from first Grand Prix

Sasha Cohen, aiming for olympic gold @ Vancouv...

Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen has withdrawn from her first Grand Prix event due to tendonitis in her right calf. She was slated to compete this coming week in Paris at the first Grand Prix event of the season, Trophee Eric Bompard.

“I have been advised to limit my training for the next few weeks,” Cohen said. “My pain is subsiding, but I have not been able to fully train for Trophee Bompard.”

While it’s unfortunate that Cohen says she is in pain, her withdrawal strikes me as slightly odd. Why, if Cohen knew she had this injury and was told to limit her training, did she perform in a show three days ago? And why, if her calf was hurting her to the extent of having to withdraw from her Grand Prix event, did she wait until less than a week before the event begins to state her withdrawal?

Something about her statement doesn’t add up.

Yes, injuries happen. Sometimes injuries occur rather quickly and without much warning. However, tendonitis is not one of these injuries. I have had tendonitis before. It’s pain that comes on slowly and then gets progressively worse over time. And if that pain reaches the extent to which a skater can’t compete, it is generally painful enough where they can’t skate in a show.

I don’t mean to call into question Cohen’s injury. However, if she knew she was injured she shouldn’t have skated in a show on Tuesday and then waited until the 11th hour to tell USFS that she was unable to compete next week. Unfortunately, because her withdrawal came so close to the event, it may be too late for another lady to take her spot.

There has been a ton of speculation as to whether or not Cohen was actually going to compete this season, and most could have predicted something like today‘s statement. Cohen says that she still plans to compete in November at her second Grand Prix event, Skate America, but at this rate, I wouldn’t count on her to show up.

What Cohen is trying to do this season–come back and attempt to win a second Olympic medal after years away from competition–is obviously very tough. However, it seems to me that maybe Cohen didn’t realize in May just how tough this whole comeback was going to seem in October.

My guess? Sometimes the fear of failure can be more painful than any injury.


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  1. collapse expand

    I agree with you. It makes no sense at all. I know she mentioned having some tendonitis issues over the summer, but now? I’m thinking it’s all about fear of failure, as you said, being up against Mao Asada, Yu Na Kim, etc where she probably wouldn’t make the podium. Another thought is perhaps she’s just under trained and not where she wanted to be–or thought she would be–at this point. It’s pretty silly for her not to go when she was invited, when she really needs to get out there, etc.

    I wonder what the French Federation (who invited her!) thinks about this…


  2. collapse expand


    Thanks for voicing what a lot of skating fans were thinking when this announcement came today. It really bugs me that she did a show this week and then decided to pull out of the GP assignment. Is it too late for USFS to send a replacement?

    I know that decisions such as this are very personal and I am not one of those fans that feels that any skater “owes” me anything. I do think that after receiving two GP assignments (despite not competing for quite some time), Sasha should have given USFS and her fellow skaters more notice on this situation.

  3. collapse expand

    This is disappointing for sure and I think really spells out that Cohen is probably going to drop out of the Olympic race.

    It certainly won’t help her cause with the USFSA and the two slots for the Olympics.

    I am sorry to hear about Kimmie as well. What a shame!

  4. collapse expand

    I can’t help but compare this withdrawal and peoples response to it with Kimmie Meissner’s announcement a few days ago. Kimmie’s withdrawal gave plenty of time for alternates to be appointed to her events, it was clear that she is withdrawing for the whole season and was met generally with feelings of sadness that Kimmie has been forced into this decision, when she was obviously wanting to have another attempt at an Olympic season, despite her recent poor form.

    Sasha’s withdrawal on the other hand was generally met by cynicism , many people had forecast her withdrawal from her grand prix events even before seeing her two recent performances. Unfortunately for Sasha those two performances did nothing to correct their suppositions.

    The field at TEB is deep this year and I think that a podium finish was looking difficult to achieve. With everyone skating to their best, which this early in the season is unlikely I admit, she would definitely place behind Kim and Asada and probably Kostner and Nakano. On a personal note I am really disappointed she isn’t competing as I will be spectating and would have loved the chance to see her compete but I was unsurprised at her decision.

  5. collapse expand

    More great analysis. I do agree it was unfortunate Cohen didn’t withdraw a little sooner. Whatever the reasons for withdrawal, hopefully she can be ready for Skate America.

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    About Me

    I’m originally from Boston, living in LA, with a passion for the world of figure skating. During my career on the ice, I was a world junior champion, a five-time U.S. national medalist, and a three-time world team member. Since retiring from the sport, I have dedicated myself to attaining my college degree with a major in broadcast journalism. I’m looking forward to sharing my views on the ins and outs of the skating world, along with my opinions and thoughts on various issues coming from the ice. I welcome you to my blog!

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