Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Cohen withdraws from US figure skating competition

'INCREDIBLY INTENSE' The skater decided not to try to defend the crown she won earlier this year to give herself a break from the stressful sport

AFP , COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

Sasha Cohen of the US performs during the Marshalls US Figure Skating Challenge on Dec. 10 at Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. Cohen won the event, but she will not compete in the US Figure Skating Championships next month.

PHOTO: AFP

Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen announced on Friday that she was withdrawing from next month's US Figure Skating Cham-pionships, saying she needed time away from competitions.

Cohen will not defend the US women's crown she captured earlier this year when the top US skaters gather from Jan. 21 to Jan. 28 in Spokane, Washington.

Downtime

"These past few years have been incredibly intense and demanding, so I need a little downtime from competing," Cohen said.

"I love feeling the thrill that competition brings and I'm not ready to give that up, but I'm the type of person who is all or nothing," she said.

"When I train and compete, it's my life. I can't be there just to be there," she said.

"These past few months, I've really enjoyed skating simply for the love of it," she said.

In addition to placing second last February at the Torino Winter Olympics, Cohen placed third at the World Championship last March in Calgary, Canada.

"I have every intention of competing in future competitions," Cohen said.

"My major goals are the 2009 World Figure Skating Championships in Los Angeles and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver," she said.

"I have competed in two Olympics, and there's nothing as thrilling as that, so I know I want to be in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics," she said.

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