Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2006 / 12 Teves, 5766

America needs Cohen!

By Philip Hersh


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article


At winter Olympics championships, daughter of Ukrainian-Jewish emigre who beat Kwan twice, is battling flu


JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT)

ST. LOUIS — Sasha Cohen always has looked like a delicate statuette, with a complexion pale as translucent bone china and 90 pounds stretched across her 5-foot body.


Wednesday, after four days of battling the flu, Cohen looked wan and frail after she practiced for the women's competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.


"Bad timing," Cohen said of her illness, which kept her off the ice three days.


The illness isn't the only unfortunately timed episode for Cohen this week.


The absence of injured defending champion Michelle Kwan has made Cohen the overwhelming favorite in her event, which begins with tonight's short program. It also makes Cohen's anticipated triumph anticlimactic.


"When I do win a national title, it would definitely mean a lot more if (Kwan) is there," Cohen said last fall.


At the U.S. Olympic Committee's autumn media day in Colorado Springs, Cohen sat below a huge poster of Kwan. The nine-time U.S. champion's presence has loomed over Cohen's entire career.


Cohen has been second to Kwan four times at the nationals, twice losing despite leading after the short program. With that record, it is easy to forget that Cohen, with two silver medals, has beaten Kwan at the past two world championships.


"It is a little empty without her here but I have my own things to worry about," Cohen said Wednesday.


Cohen's illness also could affect Kwan's petition to be given one of the three women's singles spots on the 2006 Olympic team.


Only the U.S. champion is guaranteed an Olympic spot. If the flu-weakened Cohen slips below second place, it will be harder for U.S. figure skating officials to justify having Kwan replace the No. 2 finisher. Under the selection criteria in place, Cohen seems a lock to make the Olympic team no matter where she finishes after Saturday's free skate final.


"It feels a little weird without Michelle," the 21-year-old Cohen said. "Just me and all these little girls."


The latter group includes Kimmie Meissner, 16, last year's U.S. bronze medalist; Emily Hughes, 16, younger sister of Olympic champion Sarah and 2005 world junior championships bronze medalist; Bebe Liang, 17, who finished sixth at nationals at 12 but has improved only one place since; and Alissa Czisny, 18, who made this year's Grand Prix Final.


"Michelle has done so much for the sport and been a champion so many years, I'm guessing they will give her a spot on the Olympic team," Czisny said Wednesday. "It's important for the rest of us just to focus on our own skating."


No other skater at this championship ever has come close to beating Cohen. Yet her failure to capitalize on chances to win U.S. titles in 2000 and 2004, the world title in 2004 and an Olympic medal in 2002 have left Cohen with a reputation as a skater who beats herself.


"It's when you don't win that you learn things about yourself," Cohen said. "Everything I have gone through has made me who I am today."


Cohen has been searching for that identity since finishing fourth at the 2002 Winter Olympics. She made three coaching changes, and those peregrinations led her family to uproot itself twice, going from Orange County, Calif., to New York in 2002 and then returning to California a year ago.


She is back with John Nicks, the coach who brought her to the elite level. Nicks, 76, who combines an avuncular side with a rapier wit, previously had a tempestuous relationship with the strong-willed Cohen.


"When I came back to Mr. Nicks, he said a skater who is older and more mature should have more input and responsibility for her skating," Cohen said. "I feel I set my game plan and goals. He is always the one who is telling me to slow down a little bit."


Riding a bus to Cohen's Wednesday morning practice at the Savvis Center, Nicks said his attempts to get the skater to lighten up usually are in vain.


"Sasha is so intense," Nicks said. "She thinks of little else besides skating and competition."


For all that, Cohen seems more comfortable in her own skin. Prone in the past to sidestep questions about her impact as one of the few Jewish U.S. Olympians, Cohen discussed her heritage with a mix of humor and matter-of-factness last fall.


"I celebrate Hanukkah," Cohen said. "Anything with gifts is good."


Cohen explained that her Jewish experience was limited because her mother, Galina, a Ukrainian emigre, was not allowed to practice religion during her childhood in the Soviet Union.


"I wasn't raised going to synagogue," Cohen said. "My mother wasn't brought up with that, so I wasn't brought up with it."


One of Cohen's grandparents was a gymnast who once performed for Stalin. Dictators are known to be even tougher judges than the ones who evaluate Cohen on the ice.


The ongoing criticism of Cohen's skating has focused on her inability to do back-to-back "clean," or error-free, programs in competition. In no national or international competition has she completed both short and long programs as planned.


"Why that happens is the $1 million question," Nicks said. "Nobody doubts she has the talent to do it sooner or later."


Cohen thought she was ready for such performances this season, until a hip injury forced her to withdraw from the Skate America Grand Prix event. She returned a month later to finish second to Japanese phenom Mao Asada at the Paris Grand Prix event.


"I'm preparing physically much harder, and I'm much more prepared," Cohen said last week. "As a result, I am more confident and more comfortable with what I have to do out there."


Then Kwan withdrew, and Cohen got the flu. It is hard to know which made her feel worse.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider must-reading. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

© Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services