Cohen To Compete In Vancouver...Not So Fast!

By: Aaron Harris

Sasha Cohen's presumptive return to competitive skating still has the figure skating world in a bit of a buzz. It's kind of like drinking a lot of caffeine and that energy that ensues for the next few hours.

But that buzz is certain to wear off and then there is that inevitable energy crash. And that crash, for many hardcore Sasha Cohen fans, will be the actualization that this isn't in the a long shot!  Of course I'm talking about her spot on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team.

As much as this sport needs Cohen right now (and believe you needs her, just look at the ratings), it may be that she is left shrugging her shoulders and saying "I tried" on that January evening in Spokane, Washington, site of the 2010 U.S. Nationals which serves as the Olympic Trials.

Many are saying, "Have you looked at the state of our ladies figure skating now...she's so in." But I say hold your horses! There will be formidable competition.

Sasha Cohen_2First off...for her debut at Senior Worlds, upstart Rachael Flatt was pretty spectacular.  who can complain with her top 5 finish?  Equally impressive was Caroline Zhang at the Four Continents Cup a few weeks prior.  She held her own against three of the top four ladies at World's.  Let's none of us forget Ashley Wagner's big come from behind at Nationals.  From 12th to 4th...that ain't easy!  Speaking of Nationals, when our National Champ Czisny manages to put a short and long together, magic ensues.

And what about the cast of others out there. Question marks all, inconsistent perhaps, but they can't be written off. I'm talking about Kimmie Meissner, Emily Hughes, Beatrisa Liang, and dare I say the big question mark Michelle Kwan (I darest...but Cohen's decision makes Kwan's return unlikely).

By accounts, however, Cohen is in the thick of it. Just last week the Baltimore Sun reported that she's been training with Rafael Artunian (former Michelle Kwan and Mao Asada coach) now for six months, is fit as a fiddle (save a little tendinitis...but don't all elite skaters deal with that a little?), and on the verge of hitting those triple-triple that she'll desperately need to compete with not only her American peers, but the international heavy hitters (see top 4 at recent World Championships in L.A.).

Rather Cohen makes it to Vancouver or not, there's two things I about all of this: American's will have a reason to tune in to skating this season...something that has been sorely lacking in recent years, and I love the fighting spirit she has. Also, it takes chutzpah to go after an Olympic Dream that seems so distance.  Rather she makes it or not, there's something in trying.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Needless to say Aaron Harris is crazy about figure skating! He eats, drinks, and breathes the sport! You can check out more of Aaron's figure skating thoughts at his blog, Axels, Loops, and Spins

Unless otherwise stated, no particular sexual orientation of anyone depicted is implied or should be presumed.