Sasha having fun training with Robin

December 29, 2003
Tatiana and I talked about the decision to look for another coach together. She had a really rough time over the competitive season traveling so much. Her health wasn’t that well, and it was hard for her to be there every day to coach, and she just talked to me about it for awhile. Tatiana said to look around and see if I could find someone, and when I found Robin, she was really happy with that decision.
Tatiana also really misses being in Russia and being home with her mother and her sister, with whom she is very close. I think there is a little bit of a language barrier with her health care here, and when Tatiana is at home in Russia, she will be able to sort that out. I’m not sure if she’s left the country yet, but I’ve not seen her recently.
The timing of the announcement on Christmas Eve was a coincidence. First of all we traveled all the Grand Prixs and there was a lot of training. Tatiana was back and forth to Russia. We went to a Pro-Am in Detroit, and we went to Colorado Springs near Christmas. It was really hard on Tatiana, and we decided the sooner the better to start with Robin.
Robin and I are really learning a lot about each other, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m learning a lot about her, and I’m sure she’s learning a lot about me. I think we make a really great team. We’re both really dedicated, and we’ve been able to have a lot of fun while getting a lot of hard work accomplished.
I never thought Robin would be coaching me. But I’ve always respected and admired Robin, and she really wanted to continue coaching, so I think it’s a great match.
It’s great because Robin actually comes on the ice and trains with me.
Right now we’ve been training at Simsbury for the past week. I don’t know for sure where I will be training in the future, but it might be Hackensack. Simsbury is pretty close to me and Hackensack is pretty far, like three hours away. Robin has been really great coming here for the past week.
I have been talking with Robin for some time. I think she’s excited to be back and training full-time with a skater again. We tried it out, and it worked really well, and we decided to stick with it.
All my programs will stay the same. Basically the only changes will be cosmetic. We’re just making minor adjustments to the program, making it more comfortable for me, and just trying to make it a stronger program by constantly working.
It’s going to be a fun competition. The Nationals are always fun for me, and we’re still learning about each other, but I’m sure we’re going to have a great time.
It will be fun especially because Robin is really fun. It will also be fun to go out there and show Robin what I can do. And I love competitions like this anyway. Basically it’s a chance to show off your hard work, and it’s also a chance where Robin and I will be able to show what we’ve done together the past few weeks.

Let the baking begin!

December 22, 2003
Before I get into my journal, I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. You’re the best fans anyone could wish for.
Before last weekend, we still didn’t have our tree, and I hadn’t started baking. But we’re catching up. I did get some baking done, got in a little shopping, and we finally got the tree up. It’s been a very busy season. With Grand Prix Finals coming so close to Christmas, it put us behind.
I really stocked up for baking. I had like four pounds of butter, four pounds of flour, sugar, eggs and everything. I started some of my first batches right before the weekend and will finish them tonight or tomorrow.
We have some family coming to visit us for the holidays, so we’re probably going to do a lot of cooking! I think we’re making a lot of food. Christmas day we’ll probably be cooking and baking all day long! I think we’re going to look through Martha Stewart’s books and make a bunch of new stuff. It’s always fun to make new recipes. We’re not too big on tradition. We like to bake a lot over the holidays. We’re like everybody else.
Natasha and I will do some baking, and we’ll go shopping together, too.
There’s not much I’ve asked for for Christmas. But it’s been pretty cold here lately, and I wear a lot of sweaters, gloves and caps.
I will be skating Christmas day. I did it last year, so I’m used to that. It’s not too hard. I will have my Christmas morning, and then I will go to the rink for one really good, hard practice and have off the rest of the day.
A lot of people don’t really understand what it’s like to be a professional athlete. Sometimes it’s a lonely task, but it’s really an incredible and amazing journey.
Oh, I’ve got to share this with you. Last Wednesday, just a couple of days after I was home from skating at the Grand Prix Final, I was given a surprise drug test by the United States Olympic Committee. They came unannounced to my house at 9 a.m. The USOC orders the drug testing. It’s called “out of competition” testing. We also get tested at every competition. You don’t know when they’re coming to your house. I think it’s my fourth time in out of competition testing. It’s usually a different person at different times. I have to write my schedule every single month, for every single day to let the (USOC) know where I’m at so they can come test me randomly any time and surprise me.
With skating, I wouldn’t think anyone would want to take any drugs because you wouldn’t want to bulk up. I don’t know, I guess they test you just in case. You don’t know when the drug testers are coming because you would have a chance to get whatever you had out of your system.

Again, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Learning to slow down

December 18, 2003

I think the season was pretty tough coming back from France and doing the show in Cleveland and then having that next week to get ready for the Pro-Am and the Grand Prix Final.
It’s good though, because it’s definitely a learning experience for me. I’m learning that I can’t be everywhere at once and if I try to, I certainly won’t be able to perform my best at every competition. So I think this season really taught me to slow it down, pick the important events and take the time to train at home to be 100 percent ready.
Although I was in pretty good shape going into both the Pro-Am and Grand Prix Final, I was a little burned out, and I was not as well prepared as I was for my Grand Prix season and the first Pro-Am.

I think I have time between now and Nationals to get back into some serious training. It’s going to be tough, and it’s going to be tight because there’s really no down time. From that point of view, I won’t be able to rest, but I will be able to have the two weeks to really train which is very important.
After a competition it’s nice to have about three days off. It’s not always the case. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t burn out or over train. If you work out too hard you won’t be able to keep improving, you will just burn out. I think that’s one thing I learned. I can’t compete six or seven times and skate my best every time. You’ve got to pick the events you want to do. Give yourself good lead-up time to them so you can train well. And I know if I do that, I know I can perform my best.
It’s better to learn that lesson now than later. When you’re competing and whatever you do, you are always learning about yourself. And that’s important. I probably over estimated how much was physically possible. It would have been smart maybe to just stay at home and train for the Grand Prix. And that’s something I realize in hindsight, and I’ll just take that lesson into the future.

Getting ready for Pro-Am and holiday baking!

December 3, 2003
I think the Pro-Ams are double-edged. In one way they’re more significant, and in a way they’re less significant than the Grand Prixs. And what I mean by that is I’m competing against Michelle, who I think is amazing and one of my strongest competitors.
But right after Grand Prixs, there are events that count. So I think Nationals will be the most important. But I also have more confidence now having already skated well against Michelle at the last event. So I’m just going to go there and try to do the same thing.
December is usually the holiday season for me. Usually the start of December I start shopping and looking though recipes for the cookies I’m going to bake. And it’s very easy to get into the holiday spirit.
I pretty much bake different things. I’ll look at recipes to see what’s most interesting. But I think there’s some classic I’ll make like chocolate chip and white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. But other than that, I’ve got a great book called the Honored Cookie or something like that. And it’s by someone from Sonoma. And it’s a fat book! It has 200 cookie recipes. This woman went all over the country and tried the cookies from everywhere and found the best ones, got the recipes and put them in this book.
And everything I’ve done has turned out fantastically, so I’m going to stick to that book.

Enjoying Thanksgiving

November 30, 2003
Thanksgiving was real nice. We went over to our neighbor’s house and they made the main dish. We brought over two desserts. We made a pumpkin bread pudding and a chocolate layer cake. And we had a great time and a great meal. It was a good Thanksgiving.
I skated that morning. I helped to bake a little bit. We ate about 4 p.m. and it was just right across the street. We went home after dinner. We had some cleaning to do at the house. It’s kind of winter cleaning not spring cleaning!
The weather was nice and it was about 50 degrees. We’ve only had one snow since I’ve been there this fall. I think it was when I was at Skate America in Reading, Pennsylvania.

I went to Miami for a little vacation. It was warm enough to get a little bit of a tan and it was just a really wonderful relaxing trip. I stayed in shape by going to the gym and jogging every day, but I also got to lay out by the pool and beach and completely relax. It was great.
Miami has a place called Lincoln Road that’s full of shops and cute restaurants and little stores. We walked down there a couple of days and we had a great meal at Sushi Samba. It was so interesting because it was Japanese, South American and Cuban food and it was really delicious. When I go to new places I like to try new things, but it also depends what calls out to me on the menu!
All the desserts are really unusual. But they had one that was like a coconut macaroon that was fresh-baked and they sliced it in half and they put white chocolate ice cream with lychee sauce around. I wasn’t sure if it would be good or not, but it was fantastic.

Skating with Scott Hamilton

November 22, 2003
My mom got a message that Scott Hamilton called while I was a Skate America, and he invited me to his show. It is a great honor to do his show for a great cause for the Cleveland Children’s Hospital. It will be tough to do because we just got back from Paris, but I thought it would be a fun to skate with him. Also, they donate the profits of the show to the hospital.
I don’t think I’ve ever skated with Scott in a show before. At least I don’t remember. It is definitely special because Scott has accomplished so much in his career and because of the type of person and athlete he is. This show is an honor and tribute to Helen McLoraine who passed away last year. She helped both me and Scott Hamilton when we were starting our careers. That is one of the reasons this is going to be a special show.
I think it’s going to be a great event and really exciting to skate with Scott, because I use to watch old videos of him and also because of everything he’s done for skating.
I look at Scott as someone who definitely has a positive image in sports and skating. I think he’s a great example.

I love Paris!

November 20, 2003

Paris was awesome. We visited so many different pastry shops. It was so fun. The first day we got there was the weekend, and we just walked around and shopped and looked at different tea parlors. We would have tea and dessert.

And then we began training on Monday and Tuesday. I had Wednesday off and did an ABC interview at a teashop called Laduree.

Also I went to all these places that I learned from a book for Christmas last year called “Paris Sweets”, and it’s a wonderful, beautiful book. Inside it kind of tells of “the” pastry shops in Paris. And it gives a little history on each one and a couple of recipes from each shop. And it’s all compiled in this book that we took with us. With that book we definitely found the best pastry shops! Even if you don’t go to Paris it gives you a little history of different places of the pastry shops and gives you recipes you can make at home.
I went back to my favorite place for ice cream – it’s an island right behind Notre Dame. They sell an ice cream that is a brand – Bertillon – and we went there a couple of times to get ice cream.
One of my favorite places to shop is Au Bon Marche because it is just an amazing department store that has all these different European designers and really creative clothing and shoes, hats and purses and things you don’t see much in the States. We had a lot of fun there. It was a real interesting walking around different streets there.

The weather was nice most of the time. There were a few rainy days but most of the time it was really nice.
We went to a restaurant called Goldfinger. It’s a famous French brasserie and that was really good. We also went to a really top cutting-edge chef. We went to visit him on Sunday. His name is Pierre Gagnaire. We went there after the exhibition. We really didn’t have too much time to go out and eat.

Reflecting on second Lalique victory

November 18, 2003

I scored 197 points again for the third Grand Prix event. At least I’m consistent!
I now have the second Trophy of Lalique crystal and have put it on the mantle. It now balances out the first one I won last year. Someone asked me what I’m going to do with the Trophy. I said, ‘Well, I think I will put it on the other side of the mantle so that it’s even.”
I didn’t even know I was ranked No. 1 in the world until somebody mentioned it. I was like, Wow! That’s an amazing honor to be ranked No. 1 and so exciting. I still feel like I have so much to accomplish. And there is so much I want to do. And it’s very motivating. I worked really hard to get there and it’s also kind of encouraging. I work hard and it pays off and it encourages me to keep working hard for other events.
Between now and Grand Prix Finals I’m sure Tatiana will change a few of the transitions around and keep making little touches to make the program better. I still get a little bit of nerves when I go out there but I’m able to handle the pressure much better with the experience. and I am able to relax and enjoy it.
I’m still very competitive and want to win, and I expect the best of myself. But I realize the way to skate your best is when you’re relaxed and prepared. It’s better than putting all the pressure on yourself. It’s better to believe in yourself and go out and if you can just kind of relax, it’s a lot easier to perform at your best.
I do feel that the public is more supportive of me when I skate well. It was really kind of unfortunate that the arena was nearly empty during the short program. It felt almost like a practice. It’s just kind of strange after competing at Nationals where it’s sold out.
I actually got sick on Friday night. And at first I wasn’t bad, and I did my long program while I was sick. It got worse on Sunday and Monday. Hopefully those were the worse days, and I am beginning to get better now. Actually it was kind of tough, and I just really had a light practice on Saturday before the long. But you know, I practiced the long program at home when I was sick, and I know I can do it, so you’ve got to be able to do it no matter what.
I remember a story my old coach told me about Linda Fratianne when she won the World Championship with a terrible ear infection. Once she got done with her long, she had stuff coming from her ears, she was that sick, and still wound up skating a great long. You have to be tough.

Some changes may be in store for Lalique

November 13, 2003

I think Tatiana and I am going to change the footwork in my long program and try to put in more steps to make it a higher level. We will probably change a few transitions to get them to count for more.

Tatiana is full of ideas. You might very well see some different changes. We’re just going to try to make the program better all year. I love the yellow dress and the style of the dress. It was a lot of fun to skate in it at Canada. We just got it days before the competition, so that’s why we added some stones on the way over here.
I first skated with it in two exhibitions at Danbury and then sent it to Toronto. We added a black trim going from the neckline down to the back. We made the black edging a little bit thicker, and we did some of the beading on the collar. Usually when I wear the dress the first time it gives me a chance to kind of look at in the mirror and I say, ‘hmm’ I need something here, and you know something will stand out if something needs to be done.
I am definitely very happy with how the season started and how we’ve been able to put up a couple of good performances. And it’s really great to feel really prepared in practice and be able to keep that going into the competition. That was really my goal this year, and I feel I have already accomplished that.
I forgot to tell you about another photo shoot that I did before I left for Lalique. The New York Post is doing a Christmas edition where they ask celebrities what is their perfect gift for Christmas. I thought makeup would be a great gift for any teenage girl. So they sent me a bunch of makeup, and I put some on for the picture. That was a lot of fun!

Sasha reviews her performance at Skate Canada

November 10, 2003

Canadian fans were really amazing at Skate Canada. They were great to me and really supportive. They appreciated the way everyone skated there and they loved it.
It’s kind of funny that I got a higher mark at Skate Canada by only .35 point. I thought it was less! Skate Canada was a good competition considering I did two back to back which was really difficult, but I had a great skate at Canada. I’m just really glad to be able to train a little before Lalique.

I was really happy with Canada short. I thought that was an improvement since Skate America. But I did think I could have done my long better than Skate America, although I didn’t have a chance to do my run-throughs the week before Canada. I talked with Tatiana and we were pretty happy with the long in the sense that I fought for everything, and I pulled through a good program. But I can do better, so I was a little frustrated trying to get a personal best.

I was going into this long program at Skate Canada wanting to skate really well and get a lot of points. The week before there was definitely so much going on at once so that’s why with everything considered, it went well. I had last Tuesday off. And I just relaxed, shopped and did some laundry. And then I started back training at the rink last Wednesday which was fun because the Stars On Ice trained at the rink doing rehearsals. So I got to see some of my friends there, and it was a fun atmosphere. I packed on Thursday again and left on Friday for Paris.
I will be in France a week and two days. I don’t go there with a concrete plan. It’s always fun exploring new areas. I definitely plan to get some ice cream. They make some of the best. Other than that, I’m just to have fun and explore. But I have the weekend to have fun and I began training today.
Sasha gives a personal view traveling to competitions
November 7, 2003
I’m on a plane en route to Paris and want to thank you for all the nice comments you have sent me on my skating, new dresses and the photo shoot.

I’ve received a lot of questions on my travels and thought I would share them in a journal.
Mostly the travel is set up between the USFSA and my mom. My mom will let Tatiana know what days we need to be at a competition. My mom will call and book the flights and make the accommodations. The USFSA will pay for the hotel during the competition and at least one night before the practices start. The USFSA does pay for airfare. We fly coach, not first class. I wish! We do get meals at the competition and we usually get a per diem for meals per day.
Today on the way to Paris, we will be using some of the time to put some crystals on my new yellow dress I wear for the short program. My mom and I will pull down our trays and spread the dress out to get an idea how to proportion where the cyrstals are placed.
My dad gave me a book to read. It’s called “Toujours Provence” by Peter Mayle. It’s a national bestseller. It’s a pretty old edition my dad gave me. It’s about taking a trip through the southern part of France. It’s a comedy.
I usually bring snacks with me on the plane. I’ve already eaten some of the broccoli I brought. I have an apple. The flight is only five to six hours so it’s not too bad. Once we start crossing the Atlantic my mom and I will probably eat a meal and watch a movie.
I will get to Paris about 7 a.m. It will be a little tiring but we’re going a couple of days early to do some shopping. I’m real excited to be going to Paris. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. First thing we’re going to do is go shopping for pastry! Some of the serious shopping will be for cosmetics because most of them in Paris are 50 percent less of what they cost in the States. And there are so many different kinds!

I plan to bring back a lot of different kinds of chocolates!
It doesn’t take me long to get over any kind of jet lag. A good night’s sleep and then after the first practice, I’m ready to go.
Sasha steps into high-fashion modeling and is a hit!

November 5, 2003
I really enjoy modeling. I definitely loved the Seventeen and Vogue shoots and had a good time working on the V Magazine fashion shoot. I would like to do some more modeling because it’s a lot fun and at the same time hard work.

We found out about the V Magazine shoot through a photographer who wanted to talk to me about setting up a shoot. The photographer was very nice and he definitely had an idea of the image he wanted to create. He said he watched me skate before, and thought it would be a lot of fun to photograph me. It was a lot of fun.
It was really neat to work with high fashion modeling. The wardrobe had some things I liked and some were cutting edge.
There were about 10 people with me working during the shoot. I didn’t know what to expect. I was just prepared to have a lot of fun with it. It was a really rewarding experience. I got to work with wardrobe, makeup and hair specialists for two days. We shot at a location at Pier 69 in New York City. It was harder work than you would expect. I had to do each pose and hold the positions for a while.
One of the first photos shot was with me in high heels bending over and trying hard to keep my balance. I was on my very tiptoe and doing everything I could to keep my balance. There was another picture with strips of cloth used and we were trying to figure out how to make them flow. We tried some spins and found that worked best to get the effect wanted.
We did get to look at a few of the pictures while we were there. We didn’t get to see everything and didn’t know what was going to be picked out. The photographer said he would have to take a closer look at them at the studio. I didn’t know what was used until I saw the magazine layout.
One of the funnier things to happen to us coming to the photo shoot was taking a cab in the heat of summer and the cab driver wouldn’t turn on the air conditioner. We were dying and it was a good 20-30 minute ride. Then when we got to the rink we nearly froze! While we were doing the fashion shoot at Pier 69, right next door Britney Spears was also doing a photo shoot. We thought that was pretty cool!

Skate Canada is next Grand Prix stop

October 30, 2003

I was really excited about getting home. I had a lot of laundry and a lot of packing to do. It’s always nice to be home even if it’s for overnight and half a day. We left for Canada Wednesday after practice.

It’s always more difficult to compete with back to back competitions. It’s usually good to have a break after the first competition. But I’m trained and ready to go back and get fine-tuned for Canada.

Going into Skate Canada there’s a few moves I can polish up. And I do want to keep improving my total points score. I will be wearing my new yellow dress for the short program. It’s the same one I wore at the ice show in Simsbury before the competitions. There were a few adjustments that had to be made and we picked it up in Toronto on the way to the competition.

I definitely see the improvement and chemistry growing with Tatiana. We’ve made so much improvement and we’ve really gotten to know each other well and I think we’re going to make a lot of progress over the next two or three years. It’s been going really well.

October 29. 2003

Skate America was a great learning competition

It was great to get the first competition with the new scoring system behind us. And winning was just a great plus.
I think the new scoring system is a great way to gauge myself throughout the season and try to improve. It will help to break down my skating and try to see where I need to improve.
I wasn’t surprised by the scoring system, because I didn’t know what to expect. But everything was pretty new and interesting.
The Swan Lake Dress feels great. We’re still going to work on it. We’re going to change the skirt a little bit, but it’s definitely almost finished. The dress is a real complicated design, so it just takes a while to get it right. We just wanted to try some different beadings on it, and we’re going to try some new material on the skirt.
I wore last year’s dress in my short program. We’re still freshening up the new short program dress. Hopefully it will be ready for Canada.
Tatiana was very happy with my performance, and she was really excited to see the point system to see where we can improve. I definitely didn’t understand what the points meant the first day for my short program when I saw them posted. But by the second day, I kind of understood what was going on. But I still have a lot to learn.
When I tripped coming out for my short program, I don’t know what happened. I guess I just caught my toe pick and I tripped and that was a surprise. I just said to myself, ‘toe pick’! And then I kept going. I just kind of laughed at myself and went out and did what I was trained to do.

Birthday celebration delayed by Skate America win

Journal 10/25/03

I want to thank all the fans for your great support at Skate America. I am happy I skated well and will talk more about that next week. On Sunday we will skate an exhibition.

I still plan to celebrate my birthday on Sunday. I have a lot of friends at Skate America. Garrett and Katie are here and Tanith and Ben. We’ll probably go out on Sunday night and do something fun.

My dad asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I said after the Grand Prix season we can all go out to a fun and memorable place in New York City and celebrate that way and have a great time.

My mom usually asks me what do I want for my birthday? I don’t know! I always love cute clothes and fun things. I have everything I need, but there’s always fun things I like, and I usually let them know.

Skate America is one of my favorite events

It feels good going into the second competition and my first Grand Prix event this season. We’re probably going to do the same program as Madison Square Garden.
Skate America is one of my Grand Prix events where I receive points for competing. You have to earn enough points in Grand Prix events to qualify for the Grand Prix Final.
I will skate the best I can, and then we’ll talk to the judges after the competition and see what they think about the program. With the new judging, we’ll make any adjustments after we see how the competition is judged. I am really excited to see how (new judging) works.
We’ve added some beads and a lot of sequins to my new dress I wear skating to Swan Lake. It really doesn’t feel any heavier because we’re using a lot of sequins so it adds very little weight. We added sequins so it will be a neat, different sort of texture. It will definitely reflect the light. It just gives it a more finished look and a little bit more detail and workmanship, so it looks very nice.

Watching myself on TV is a learning experience

October 22, 2003
I got to see myself on TV Sunday. I always like watching because I can
always critique myself and it’s great to see if I can take my skating to the
next level.
It’s really, really helpful to see yourself on TV because I can see
where I can put a little more speed there and maybe do a little different
arm position someplace else. You just kind of see how you skate the program
overall and what you can improve on.
I think it is very, very flattering to hear what the commentators (Dick
Button and Peggy Fleming) say about you. But I’ve got to do what I do
basically. It’s encouraging when people are saying nice things. I do a lot
of hard work and it shows that it is paying off and people are noticing.
My landings are just a part of me getting stronger as a skater because
I’m continually growing.
Actually I thought I looked older this year (laughingly). I thought, oh,
look, wow!
I look at everything, how I skate, how I jump, how I spin, look what the
program looks like, my dress and just see what’s good and what I can do

Good food, shopping and visiting with friends

October 15, 2003

The day after winning the Campbell’s International Classic I spent going around New York with ABC. I didn’t get much sleep. I mean I woke up at 8 a.m. but I went to bed about 2 a.m.

ABC had asked me what were some of the things I wanted to do. We started the day with some coffee with pastries and then we went to visit the pastry chef at Le Cirque 2000 Restaurant. We had already been there once, and I had some chocolate banana tortes and mini apple pies.

We explored the kitchen, and I think I tasted every petit four they had. The chef showed us their chocolate room where there must have been about 20 different kinds of chocolate. We ate some chocolate fondant cake, crème brulee and some little madeleines. It was the best breakfast I ever had!

After that we went to SoHo and went shopping. I went into a store where they gave me a personal shopper. We had a lot of fun. I was trying on some boots that were called three-step boots. It was so funny because I had two people trying to help me put them on! I don’t think those kind of boots are for me.

After that we went back to Le Cirque 2000 for some lunch and more dessert!

We left Le Cirque to go to Sephora. They had every single different line of makeup you can imagine. They gave me some free makeup and also showed me some different ideas on how to use it. I usually stay with natural tones but at Sephora they showed me how to put on metallic green makeup. I put on some dark green eye shadow and it definitely showed me some new ways to wear makeup.

We took a short walk down the street and went to a White Store. Everything in it was white… clothes, furniture…everything. We shopped until late afternoon. We got some tickets to the Broadway show “Producers”. It was so funny. After that we had a late dinner.

On Wednesday we continued our tour with ABC and by afternoon they had all the footage they will use throughout the season.

Wednesday night we were asked to have dinner and invite some family and friends to Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford. Katie (Orscher), Garrett (Lucash) and my best friend Christie came with us. I got to go in the kitchen with the chef and help prepare some of the lobster dishes for the evening. We prepared sushi noir, lobster tail with sherry and baked stuff lobster with crab. Of course we had dessert. I had the white chocolate pumpkin break pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. I love dessert and always have it. Sometimes I look at the dessert menu first. But I have a rule that when ordering dessert always order to share! It was a wonderful dinner and we all had a great time.

It was such a wonderful weekend. I skated well and we had a great weekend of shopping and eating some wonderful food with my friends and family.

What a great feeling to do a solid program

October 9, 2003

The win is good because it helps answer all the questions and comments I have had about people with my consistency and my focus. I’m like ‘I’m trying and I’m getting better every year!’ People were impatient and it’s kind of nice to do a solid program.

I kind of knew I would have a good competition the week before I left for New York. I had an entire week of clean programs. I think that’s a record for me! To skate clean programs consistently in practice is a huge step for me and then to put these programs I practiced in competition is an awesome feeling.

The warm-up before the competition was kind of interesting. They made us wait around for about 20-25 minutes and we all went out with pretty cold legs. I just told myself over and over ‘I can do this’ and to use every part of my brain and body and go out there and have a good time. It was time to go out and execute.

I always loved skating and always love competing. I’m trying to leave my nerves behind and completely enjoy myself. And I’m learning from experience. I still feel I am competing with myself and pushing myself every year.

To have won over Michelle, who has been able to maintain such a high degree of excellence and stay on top of skating for so many years is special. For years I have been watching and learning from Michelle and how to handle myself. That’s exactly how I feel. That I learned from Michelle and will continue to learn.

This week is a little easier than the competitive weeks. I have a couple of shows this weekend. We will prepare for them and work on the long program some more. Next week we will get into the competitive mode again.
Standing ovation signaled a great performance

October 5, 2003

What an amazing weekend I had. To win, and especially in New York at Madison Square Garden, is a great feeling. That place has so much positive energy and just skating there is a big honor. It’s a dream to have skated in a big competition there.

It’ s kind of amazing but the time when I felt most on fire during the competition was when I stepped into the ending position and when I saw the people start to stand up. I received a standing ovation and it was then I just knew I skated really well. I thought ‘Oh my God’ and was bursting with happiness. Once I stepped off the ice everything was a blur and saw my name was on top and that’s when it felt just sooo good! The new dress was fabulous. It felt so great and comfortable.

It hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m sure it will when I stop and think about it more. The next few days I will probably replay it in my head more. When I got off the ice Tatiana told me ‘I knew you could do it. See, hard work pays off and I’m really proud of you.’ My mom was so excited and so happy.

We celebrated afterwards by going out for dessert. We went to the Bluefin Restaurant, which is a really cool and trendy seafood restaurant. We had a Grand marnier mousse with rum butter crepes and caramelized orange segments with praline crunch ice cream.

But I couldn’t stay out long, although it was already 2 a.m. I had to get up early Saturday morning because that was when ABC did the filming for features for the season.

First competition of the season is exciting

October 3, 2003

I love New York City and Tatiana is happy with how things are going. To skate in

Madison Square Garden is such an honor. I’ve had good practices and have had about a week of running through my programs with my new dress. I think the dress fits the music perfectly. It’s an unusual dress and the design works well with the music. I can say more about that after tonight. But I want it to be a surprise.

My goal for the first competition of the season is to skate clean and just like I’ve been doing in practices with the same focus. As soon as I get on the ice I lay out my program in my mind. I mentally learn where everything is.

You really don’t think about the venue so much but there’s a big difference between practice and competitions. You feel the audience, know there’s a judging panel, the public address announcer and know there will be plenty of TV cameras. The best practice is to go to through the run-throughs. I’ve been doing a lot more training off ice this year and I’m doing better in practice than I’ve done the past year.

I am also real excited about my first college exam coming up. I’ve been taking nutrition on-line through Penn State. I’ve submitted my first five tests. I have definitely learned a lot about nutrition and how to apply it toward my training. It’s hard to find the time to study sometimes. But I know the exam is coming up and will have to find a couple of hours each day to study.

Swan Lake dress is here; chat today

September 30, 2003

I’m very excited! I got my dress for my long program, Swan Lake, and it’s fabulous! It’s the first time I’ve had a week to practice in a dress before a competition. I will update you on that later.

I hope most of you have your questions submitted for my chat today at at 5 p.m. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. I’m sure I will recognize some of the names.

I have been sick the past week but everything is going well in training. I am just getting over a cold. When I have a cold I don’t have the energy to practice as long or intense as usual. Tatiana recognizes this and we change the workout a little bit. But I’m feeling better now and it’s almost all gone. It’s good in a way to have to go through something like this so you are prepared to compete when you are sick.

I don’t know if you got to see the story Frank Litsky of the New York Times wrote last week. It’s under “Updates” on my home page. I was like ‘Wow’ when I read what Peggy Fleming said. To think people think things like that of you is awesome. It makes you stop and think where you are and how much you’ve improved.

I know a lot of athletes write off the media when they are asked for interviews. But there are a lot who would love to have the opportunity to be interviewed. I feel honored whenever I’m asked for an interview. I think every interview is an opportunity to tell the world what you want to say.

This past weekend we went to a fair. My dad came home from New York on Friday evening and my mom picked him up at the train station. While mom was gone Natasha and I started the dinner. We just tried to follow the directions mom left us. Mom told us when to put things in the oven, take it out and prepare for dinner.

We had a herb salad with avocados, cucumbers and scallops. The main course was Asian-flavored chicken with broccoli. And for dessert we had a wonderful hazelnut meringue cake.

Quad may figure in this year’s plans

September 21, 2003

I’ve begun working on my quad again. It’s something I’ve done before and realize that if I don’t do it now I will need it for the future. I try to practice them when I have a lot of energy. I do one or two on the harness and then try a couple on ice. It just takes a lot of focus and you must attack it when you do it. I am definitely interested in trying it this year. I hope to try it at one of the Pro-Ams or Grand Prix events.

I’m finally finishing my Harry Potter book. I’ve been reading different books and haven’t had time but to read a few pages each night before I go to bed. I’ve been reading other books on skating. I like biographies of people and enjoy reading about their lives other than the skating. It tells you more of the physical side and other things that take place in a skater’s life. It tells you of the mental side and the commitment levels they face. It shows that it takes more than just practicing.

Not much is going on except just going through the routine as often as possible. I’m into my weekly competitive practice on and off the ice and it leaves little time for other things.

Second fitting for Swan Lake costume

September 14, 2003

We’re now about three weeks away from the first competition. We’re kind of pinpointing areas to improve on each day.

Tatiana and I have a plan for each practice session. It might change if I feel like I have less or more energy. But for the most part we’re on the same page.

I had the second fitting for my Swan Lake dress on Saturday. I will be doing the program for the first time at the Campbell’s Challenge at Madison Square Garden in three weeks.

I love the cut to Swan Lake. Tatiana and I have tried to piece together some versions not used before. It’s such an amazing piece of music it’s hard to find parts hardly anyone has used.

I love the program and dress because it’s about telling a story about the swan and the girls and I want to portray them. I am telling a story through my skating. I want the program to be elegant and Tatiana is very much into the complete character.

We toned the dress down a little bit since we began work on it. If you will look closely it has a black swan and white swan. I’m supposed to get the dress right before the Pro-Am in October. I’m hoping we get it in time to compete in because it’s so beautiful. I can’t wait to skate the program in it.

It’s time to begin a strict practice routine

September 8, 2003

Today I began my off ice training again. This is now definitely when I begin to get into serious and focused on training.

I’ve been back from vacation for about a week but we had a great time in Sun Valley and California. I got in some horseback riding, lots of bike riding and went fishing in a river with my family. My mom and dad caught trout and we had that for dinner the next day. Unfortunately I didn’t catch anything. It has been quite a while since I’ve been fishing.

My mom sautéed hers and I baked mine in the oven with garlic. We went to some barbecues and cookouts.

We spent a few days in California and I skated some with Timmy and Tiffany. It was great seeing them again and fun skating together while I was breaking in a new pair of skates.

We came back to Connecticut for one day and then I spent a couple of days in Detroit to have my show program choreographed by Igor Shpilband, the coach for Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto. I am skating to a really beautiful tango.

I wanted to try something different because skating is constantly changing. I’m not sure of the soundtrack of the music since we just put it together last week. I will let you know when I find out.

Swan Lake is beautiful music and a great program!

August 31, 2003

I skated at Sun Valley about two weeks ago. I was OK and wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be with the higher elevation.

I did my new long program to Swan Lake, at least three-quarters of it for the first time. I found at the end of the program I could breathe!

Tatiana wanted to put it out there for the first time in front of an audience. Now I have to skate it over and over. Basically it was why we went to Sun Valley to try out the new long program.

I love the program. We chose an unusual cut of music so it makes it more exciting. It’s such strong music you can’t help but like it. It’s fun to skate to because there’s a story behind the music. I like programs with music that has stories to them.

I’m really excited about the costume I will be wearing to Swan Lake. It’s going to be beautiful. I’ve had a first fitting and I like it a lot. I think I’m going to design the costume for the short program. I’ve not completely decided yet.

We still have a lot of work to do beginning later next week but it’s all coming together nicely.

Sun Valley and California last chance for a break

August 25, 2003

I missed the Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera concert because it had to be rescheduled for a Friday night when I was scheduled to be out of town. It would have been fun to go but those things happen. I understand a lot of their stage equipment broke at one of the arenas that forced the postponement. Johnny (Weir) went so I’m glad they had it and he got to go.

It’s beautiful here in Sun Valley and my family is with me. It’s probably the last time I get a week off for some time. I’m going to California for a couple of days, go to to the beach and visit some friend. I will be back home after Labor Day to continue training.

I’m kind of enjoying the week off, breaking in new skates and blades. It’s got to be done sometime and I figure this is the best time. I will be training hard the next couple of months. I’ll also be polishing my programs so I can go out and compete. I am anxious for the competitions to start.

I just got back from a barbecue tonight and wanted to tell you that I also skated to Swan Lake for the first time and will fill you in on that when I post it here on my journal Saturday.

We’re beginning to choreograph new program

August 10, 2003

It’s definitely been a lot of hard work the last few weeks. We’ve just gotten to the point where we are choreographing my programs to the music. We’re still not sure what pieces of music to use and how long.

After we get the program finished and I compete once or twice I am going to write a series of articles how we put the program together from the selection of the music, to the elements and choreography. And I’ll also share some thoughts on how we fine-tuned the program after a couple of run-throughs in early competitions.

Sorry I can’t tell you more about sections of music and the programs yet; it’s just that we so often change things right up to the competition.

I’m getting real excited about the Justin Timberlake and Christine Aguilera concert I’m going to this week with Johnnie Weir. I’ll let you know all about it next week.

Photo shoots are lots of fun and hard work!

August 3, 2003

I have received so much e-mail about my photo shoots that I thought I would share some of the things we do during them. It is an awesome experience. I always get some great ideas.

I didn’t know how much hard work went into a photo shoot until I actually went through several. I’ve done several for skating which most of you have seen on my Web site. But the ones I did for Vogue, Seventeen and two weeks ago for another fashion magazine which I can’t announce until later, were lots of fun and hard work at the same time.

It’s also a great opportunity for me to learn from everyone associated with the fashion shoots. The hair stylist, makeup artist, designers and photographers are a team that must work together on schedule to get the results they want.

I get to wear some really beautiful clothes. A lot of the outfits are mailed and some are brought in. I get to check some of them to see what I like and work together for me. I don’t usually buy or get the outfits because they are so hard to get since they come out months later in the stores and I have such a short time to get them. But I can’t wait to see the clothes come out and see people wearing them.

I do try to get some of the accessories and learn from some of the makeup ideas.

The two full days spent in New York a couple of weeks ago were the neatest.

Congratulations to Lela;
Going to see Justin and Christina in concert

July 27, 2003

Congratulations to Lela (Elizabeth) of Strongsville, Ohio for being the first person to win a free autographed photo on the new Web site contest. Lela was selected by a random drawing. Lela’s mother registered her over a year ago. Lela also began skating in the past year. I am very happy Lela won and wish her the best in her skating and other activities.

Johnny Weir and I are going to see Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera in concert later this month. We’re both excited and trying to pick out what we’re going to wear.

It’s been a great three weeks and later this month my family and I will get to visit one of my favorite places to skate – Sun Valley.

Last Saturday I went to Chicago for a meeting to discuss the new judging rules for the Grand Prix Series. It was very interesting and very different how they add the points. I’m glad I went because I had no idea how it worked.

I know a lot of people are e-mailing me about my music selection but I prefer to wait a little while to tell my fans what exactly I am skating to, the costumes and choreography. I want to talk with Tatiana first before we decide to describe the music.

I went to another photo shoot on Monday and Tuesday in New York. The clothes were fabulous. Once we find out how the magazine will use the photos I can tell you more.

Later this month we’re going to Sun Valley to do skate in a show. That is one of my all time favorite places to skate because it’s outdoors and it’s like skating in your own world!

Training and enjoying our first summer in Connecticut

July 13, 2003

The last couple of weeks have been hectic. I am now into my practice routine on and off the ice. I can tell the difference in getting into competitive conditioning. It’s a lot more structured and everything we do from now on is part of the bigger plan. We’re beginning to put the programs together for the new season and have just begun talking about the costumes. There is so much to do and it seems like so little time before the first competition. But it always seems to come together at the end.

I have also been working with my Web master and putting some final touches on new ideas we wanted to provide for my fans, who I think are the greatest in the world! We can’t put everything up right away but I think you will like some of the new features. One of the fun features is my flavor of the month for ice cream. I don’t think there’s a city or country I visit that I don’t try their ice cream!

This is my family’s first summer in Connecticut. It’s a lot more fun with us all together. We’re getting to visit different places where we’ve never been. It’s fun to see the difference between the West Coast and East Coast. I don’t have much traveling to do the rest of the summer. I am planning on going to Sun Valley in August. That is always a nice place to visit. I will also get to see some of my friends who live and train in the area while I’m there.

Getting back in shape, celebrating Natasha’s birthday!

June 28, 2003

Last week as all rainy. One day I went to a pottery place and painted a teapot.

I’ve been getting back in shape since returning from that fabulous vacation in Cancun. I’ve been doing a lot of stroking and a lot of work.

Tatiana knew I had time off and let’s just say I am very sore!

I’m also breaking in a new pair of skates. I usually break in one pair a year and do it over the summer.

I usually go through one or two sets of blades.

My sister’s birthday is Saturday. She’ll be 15.

We’re all going to Greenwich (Connecticut). We’re throwing Natasha a party here Friday night.

We’re decorating the room and Natasha just picked out the cake. It’s five layers. My mom and I made it Thursday.

A great vacation but little rest in Cancun

June 26, 2003

I wanted to tell you what a great place Cancun was. Christie and I had a great time. The only misconception about the vacation was we didn’t get too much rest!

We went to the clubs every night, went on tours, swam with the dolphins, visited the Ruins of Tulum and had a gorgeous ocean view from our hotel.

Swimming with the dolphins was terrific. We actually got to do more with the dolphins. We had a float with our face down and the dolphins would grab the float and raced us across the lagoon. They would also swim around us and you could touch them. It was a lot of fun.

One day we rented a Jet Ski and it was just awesome. We went all around the coast all day. We weren’t that tired but I can tell you our butts were sore! Another day we took a jungle tour with little motor boats taking us around.

We went snorkeling and that was so cool. The guide took us around by holding each of our hands. Cristie petted a shark!

One night we went to a lobster house for dinner. I absolutely love lobster. It was grilled and was the best I ever had. There’s not too much ice cream in Cancun but there was a Hagen-Das and we got some frozen yogurt.

I think we got to see pretty much every nightclub in Cancun! We went to Fat Tuesday, Daddy’O and the Coco Bongo. I think the Coco Bongo was one of my favorites. It was really neat because it was so much like a show. There would be acrobats appearing to be coming down from ribbons and they would land in the middle of the crowd. The stage reminded me of Studio 54. We didn’t stay out all that late. The clubs closed at 5 a.m. But we were so tired one day we slept to 3 p.m.!

Cancun was awesome and I recommend it as a great vacation spot.

A lot of training planned for the summer

June 8, 2003

Now that I am back from vacation I am going to have a pretty hectic summer.

I am taking two courses on nutrition through Penn State University and Tatiana told me we would be working extremely hard this summer.

We discussed our plans for the summer and Tatiana said she would be bringing in a fitness specialist who will work with me two extra hours a day. This summer we will be doing a lot of training.

We joke about whom Tatiana is bringing in. We just call him the ‘fitness person’ right now. That’s because we haven’t met him.

We also have to get two complete new programs together with costumes, elements and choreography.

I am also planning a little time for myself. I will finally get a chance to decorate my room.

I have slowly made some additions like putting up a mirror and some shelves. I’ve ordered some pretty dried flowers and little by little it’s getting there. It will be about a year in the making. And I’ve finally got my dad to get rid of some boxes!

Tour is over! It’s time for some sun and fun!

June 5, 2003

It feels so weird that the Champions On Ice tour is over. It was short but it’s also kind of exciting that it is finished and I get a vacation. I’m actually going to have a chance to do my own thing for a while.

The last show was at the Pond in Anaheim. Usually during the last show everyone stays late and says goodbye.

It was exciting getting back to California. I spent some time with my dad and grandfather. My dad and I toured Napa Valley. I’ve never been to that part of California.

My favorite new city on the tour was Seattle. It was my first time there and I loved it. We went to the Pike Place Market and had great frozen yogurt! If there’s ice cream anywhere I will find it! We walked around the market and saw the fresh fish and handmade gifts on display. We also went sailing – it was so beautiful off the coast.

I will be going to Cancun for a week. I’m not too sure of everything I’m going to do there but I’m planning on going swimming with the dolphins and I am going to get a very serious suntan!

Champions On Ice Tour a bit more relaxing this year

May 11, 2003

We’re about halfway through our tour with Champions On Ice. I’ve gotten a lot of questions on the music and my dress. The program is skated to “A Time for Us” from the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack. The dress was made by a woman in Canada and the beads were put on in Russia. The dress was so heavy at the beginning I had to take some of the beads off to make it lighter.

We just spent some time in Atlanta where Tim and I got to check out the ice where we will be competing for the U.S. Nationals next year. Skaters from local clubs were there asking us questions and skating with us. The media was invited to ask us questions about skating, the tour and Nationals. We had a lot of fun.

This year’s Champions On Ice tour is a lot shorter than last year. We have a lot more breaks and it gives me time to come home between some stops.

When we go to Denver I will visit with my friend Christie Baca. We’ll do some shopping and visit some fun places. On tour I spend a lot of time with Tim just hanging out.

I’m skating toward the end of the show this year and I like that. It gives me time to rest, warm up and prepare. It’s a nice position to be in. The tour is a lot of fun. All the skaters are laid back and I love to see all the different cities in the U.S.

Some free time to spend with family

April 20, 2003

This has been a fun time of year since the season ended. Spring is so beautiful in Connecticut. We had a long winter but enjoy the many small towns, shops and restaurants here.

I recently went to the Culinary Institute of American in New York. It was great fun! We got to visit four restaurants on campus and they took me into each different classroom – French, Asian, Pastry and Cake making were some. I was able to make my own cake in the cake class. And I also saw all the different techniques of chocolate making.

Linda (Stiegler) and another woman are writing a book about me. It’s a little different than the other books. It will have a lot of different and cute anecdotes about me growing up. I will let you know when it is published.

My family is trying to plan a vacation around a lot of our schedules. My sister just finished school and is a counselor at a camp this summer. I am on tour and will be in Sun Valley later to do a show. We want to go somewhere tropical. It will be great to be all together.

Natasha also been accepted into Miss Porter’s School. That’s the one where Jackie Kennedy attended when she was growing up. Natasha is very excited about that.

Winning Grand Prix Final was a team effort

March 2, 2003

I am very happy winning the Grand Prix Final. I can still do a little better but I was happy with the competition. The competition was hard because of having to do a long program after the short in the same day. This was a new experience for me … the first time doing the Grand Prix final.

Tatiana takes into consideration the whole package of travel, practice and competing and builds in some time for me not to feel cooped up at the hotel. I like to get out and see the sights and visit some of my favorite places in cities I’ve been to. I’ve been to St. Petersburg before and had a good time. This was even better.

Now I will go home and practice for Worlds. I think every competition makes me become stronger in competitions.

Sasha has fun and gets the red carpet treatment

February 23, 2003

After Nationals I spent a week in California visiting my friends and just getting away from skating. It was so warm and felt so good.

One day I went to Disneyland and had lunch, I ran on the beach nearly every day at Laguna Beach. I got to go to my cousin’s birthday another day. I definitely miss California and my friends. But training in Connecticut has helped me improve my skating.

Since Nationals I have been busy training and having some fun. I did a fashion shoot with Seventeen Magazine in New York. It will be in the April edition. It was so much fun. It took a full day and a lot of quick changes. I had my hair fussed with a lot and got to learn some new things with makeup.

I also went to two fashion shows. It was great because it was the first time I got to walk down the red carpet with paparazzi around. Cache dresses and L’Oreal cosmetics put on one show. I have been in Paris for a week training for the Grand Prix Final. I love just walking around Paris and seeing the sights. There’s some favorite eating places I go to when I am here. Tatiana has some friends here and helps set up the training site and times. And I got out of town just in time before the big snowstorm hit.

Nationals is the most intense competition

January 11, 2003

I’m excited and nervous entering the Nationals in Dallas. It’s always one of the most intense with U.S. skaters. We’re all strong and we all want the title. It takes a lot of mental strength and fire.

The practices with Tatiana have gone well and I am sure you have seen my dress I designed that we posted a couple of days ago. Of course it has changed since then with the added gold stones on the body and gold sequins on the skirt.

My competitions coming into Nationals have given me a better feeling than ever before. I feel like I am a stronger, more motivated person this year. I think I have become more of a fighter working with Tatiana.

It has been very cold and snowy here in Connecticut. I’ve already been snowed in a couple of times! We have some gorgeous icicles on the house now. I’ve been sledding a few times and we’ve made some snowmen!

I am going back to California for a week right after Nationals. I am anxious to see my friends. I called some of them and they told me they were going to go snowboarding in the mountains. I will go with them for a couple of days but I definitely will visit the beach and some of my favorite places.

I look forward to seeing a lot of my fans at Nationals. It’s always fun running into the people I’ve met along the way.

From the Eiffel Tower to the Macy’s Parade

December 10, 2002

It’s hard to believe I haven’t written in a month but I have actually been out of the country for almost an entire month. I went to Paris where they require skaters to arrive a week and a half in advance of the competition. From Paris we went to Moscow and then got back home just in time to go to New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The competitions went great. I am very pleased to have done so well. One of my goals was to be No. 1 in the Grand Prix events and I accomplished that. I am very competitive and set high goals. I got my first 6.0s at the Sears Open and it felt great when the audience gave me a standing ovation.

Thanksgiving was a special weekend.

The Macy’s parade was awesome and it was very, very cold. It was an amazing experience. I had to get up at 6 a.m. to be at the parade by 8 a.m. We waited two hours until the start of the parade at 10 a.m. What was really neat was getting to meet with Justin Guarini of “American Idol”. We spent about 20 minutes talking and I got to really connect with him. We talked about what his life was like and he said he remembered seeing me in the Olympics.

I got to ride on the float “2012 NYC” representing New York winning the U.S. bid to host the 2012 Summer Games. I was on the float with Bob Beamon, a great track star and former Olympic champion, and Michael Cavanaugh who is one of the biggest starts on Broadway. He sang “New York State of Mind” and it seemed like everybody in the crowd was screaming his name. I got to talk to Bob and met his wife and she is really sweet.

It was so cold that every time the parade stopped we would run off the float into the cab of the truck pulling the float to get warm. Then when the parade started again we would run back to the float.

There was a reception after the parade and I got to sit with the cast of “Ashanti” and “Good Morning America.” And then I was on CNN Headline News.

Afterwards I got to spend the evening with my family and had a great Thanksgiving dinner.

Sasha having a great time in Paris!

November 13, 2002

Paris is one of my favorite cities. I love to sightsee, shop and the competitions are a lot of fun. Today was a day off and I had a lot of fun.

Tomorrow we will have our draw for positions. That’s a special event because it gives me a chance to meet with friends I’ve made in the past. Then I will have my first official practice.

I just got through giving an interview next to the Eiffel Tower. That was really neat. After that I went to my favorite place to get ice cream in Paris. Oh, I love chocolate and have bought a lot of chocolate. It is so good here! I’ve already been shopping along the Champs Elysee. I bought a pair of boots, a coat and some lip gloss.

Our team had to come to Paris early so I’ve already been here a week. But I love walking around the city. There are so many beautiful places around.

I’m excited to start the competition and I’m ready.

Thank you for all the good luck wishes at Skate Canada and the congratulations. I appreciate the e-mails that have been sent to me wishing me luck here. You’re the greatest fans.

Sasha turns 18, has a great Birthday!

October 27, 2002

I had one of the greatest birthdays ever. I had my best friend visit and we had a great time the entire day.

It started off with my mom making me one of her great souffles for breakfast.

Then we did some shopping around Hartford and along the way found a neat place to do some painting. At lunch we found this real good pizza place and then got some ice cream at another place.

I got a chance to read the birthday greetings on my Web site and thought they were very thoughtful and nice.

We had a lovely dinner at a neighbor’s house and then we watched a movie.
It was the greatest birthday ever and I had so much fun.

Getting acquainted with Connecticut

October 10, 2002

I love training in Connecticut. I’ve always considered myself a West Coast girl, but I’m liking it better here every day. It’s so beautiful here, and I love all the trees. And it’s close to New York, which is really exciting!

We’ve found a nice place to live and my sister is in school. We’re starting to get settled in. We’ve explored some of the small towns and found some nice places to shop and some really great restaurants.

The practice rink is amazing. Some days I am the only one on the ice with Tatiana and Nikoli. The situation couldn’t be more ideal. Tatiana and Nikoli are helping me realize my potential. They don’t want me to just be better, they push me to be the very best I can be.

Thank you for all the nice letters and e-mails of support.

A difficult decision

August 16, 2002

After long hours of deliberation with my family we have decided we will move to Connecticut to train and work with Tatiana Tarasova. It was a very hard decision. But I am very fortunate to have a loving and supportive family to make the sacrifices for this move. Once we decided to move we looked at it as a great adventure. It will be a great opportunity to live on the East Coast. I don’t think I will be wearing as many sandals!

I love the East Coast and I am excited to get to know the area better. It will be close to New York and Boston and that will be a lot of fun for my family.

During the summer, while I was on the Champions On Ice tour, I worked with Tatiana and Nikoli together. I decided that their training methods were good for me. I noticed improvement right away. I am a lot faster and had more endurance as well. It was great being on ice and not having to circle around people.

The training environment in Connecticut is amazing with just the fact it’s all senior elite skaters, the endless hours of empty ice time. In California, it was more of a public facility, very crowded sessions. That’s where I’m looking for better training.

I have been thinking about this since after Worlds. It came slowly and I became more and more sure every day. I thought I needed a different type of training but didn’t know where. After actually gone to Connecticut and trained there I was sure.

It has always been my dream to be an Olympic medalist. Tatiana Tarasova has made that come true for a lot of skaters. Hopefully, she can make my dreams come true as well.

A busy and exciting summer

Welcome to my official new Web site.

I hope you enjoy the many features that are available now. There will be a lot more coming over the summer.

It’s been a very exciting and busy year.

Friday was my last day of high school. I graduated from Futures High School with straight “A’s” after being with them for five years. With the help of Futures HS I was able to excel in school while pursuing my dream in skating.

I have been having a great time with Champions On Ice. We travel all over the country and entertain skating fans everywhere we go.

Later this summer I will be going to Nottingham to skate in a special program for the Queen of England. I will be skating my “Ribbon” program because it is a unique and special program that I think the Queen will enjoy.

I will take plenty of pictures and share them with you.

Send me your comments and questions via my e-mail address and I will answer them on the Fan Page.

Don’t forget to register for my newsletter! You will receive special mailings on news and upcoming events.