Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune is begging Sasha Cohen to come back and save figure skating for the U.S. ladies field. In his reasoning:
The six best scores of her career (including those at the 2006 worlds and Olympics) are better than those of any U.S. skater except the Meissner who once was a contender.
Now I understand that the new ding'em attitude among skating judges has made high scores more difficult to get since 2006.
But U.S. figure skating officials still should roll out a red carpet for Cohen's return.
Even if she has not been seen in competition since March, 2006, Cohen still looks like the only U.S. woman capable of walking up the red carpet to the awards stand at the 2010 Winter Games.
As Hersh admits, judging is different now, so I'm going to go ahead and ignore the fact that Cohen has scored higher than the current ladies crop. Although there is still time, I also don't know if Cohen could get up to snuff technically (forget the fact that she can't string two clean performances together) to compete with the likes of Asada or even Kim. As someone who could watch Cohen skate all day long, I don't see what she would bring competitively to the table. It's not like she was the Tiger Woods of skating before she retired; I mean she could not even pull it together to win the 2006 gimme world championships. Not that she shouldn't try and prove me wrong...her skating is just beautiful and I'd love to see her out there competing. I just wouldn't necessarily expect her to win anything.
I guess I just haven't given up hope on the youngsters yet. I definitely saw reason for optimism in the performances of Flatt and Wagner (although Wagner seems to have the makings of becoming the next Alissa Czisny unless she can get her technical stuff together) as far as their presence and Flatt's technical ability. Nagasu (overcoming that growth spurt and ankle injury) and Zhang left me uninspired, and Hughes and Meissner are better off unmentioned right now, but this is the year for growing pains before the Olympics next season. Hopefully all is not lost for the American ladies...