Back from Stars tour and vacation
July 8, 2008
Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I have written, but Ihave been on tour most of the year and then took a much-needed vacation to unwind. I’ll try to update you on what’s been going on with me.
Performing with Stars was the most wonderful year of my life. I made the best friends ever and the show was so creative. I’ve never done that tour for a complete year.
It was a good show and a challenge for me. Seven times during the show I was on the ice. I would get a little tired but you get used to it. There was a bond with the skaters and we pushed on. Everybody was helpful. Not just one person.
The Stars crowds were all into the show and seemed to like the production. I got a lot of response when I did my ballet number.
We lost some of the U.S. skaters on the Canada Tour. But by the middle of the Canada Tour we had a pretty good team. Kurt was great to work with. I changed my “Imagine” number to “Hurt” for the Canada Tour.
My family took a three-week vacation after Stars and went to Europe. We made stops in England, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. Part of the trip was a cruise along the coasts and the islands of Greece. The cruise from Athens to Venice was beautiful.
I didn’t do any shopping, just sightseeing, walking and touring and eating some great food at restaurants along the way. I’m not much of a shopper when I’m on vacation. And the Euro was so high it made everything so expensive.
We asked the concierge at the hotels we stayed to help us find a lot of the great places we visited. The locals are always a good help, too.
I had a great vacation and it’s great getting back home. I’m unpacking, doing my wash and getting back to a regular home life and practicing. During shows and touring I do a lot of skating but it’s not the same as hard practices and getting my body back into skating shape.
I’ve not trained hard it over two years. It feels good to get back into a conditioning routine of running, yoga, conditioning and skating. I love working out. It’s so fun to get my back into shape.
I’m also meeting with Jan for some new dresses I will need this year. I have some ideas that we will try.
We celebrated Natasha’s birthday last month with a really big party at the house. She’s 20. I can hardly believe it! Natasha has an internship in New York this summer with Merrill Lynch and Forbes.
I donated the skates I wore in the 2006 Olympics to the Sports Museum of America in New York City. It was hard for me to donate my skates. It probably would have been a lot harder to let go one of my dresses!
I will be going to Korea and Japan later this summer to do some shows and will perform in a couple of shows with Steve Disson. They will be on TV later this year. We will go to Sun Valley and I will skate some shows there
I’m thinking about taking some painting classes, getting organized and getting the house back in order since I’ve been away for a while. I’ll catch up with my friends. There’s not been time to take any acting classes. I wish I had more time. I’m on the go so much it’s hard to find the time to do all the things I want to do.
Stars On Ice is fun, exciting and strenuous!
March 21, 2008
The Stars On Ice Tour is going really well. The shows are quite strenuous because
the action is non-stop the entire time. The audience loves this. We are all in a lot of numbers, plus I have two solos, and there are a lot of quick costume changes. But I like the show¹s concept, because it challenges us every night.
So when one person gets sick, we all get sick. That’s how I ended up getting the flu early on the Tour, and it took a major toll on me for a few days, (we had four shows in a row with 10 hour overnight bus rides) but I rested as we traveled so I would have all my energy during the shows. So that’s over, and I¹m fine now.
I do a lot of media interviews during my off days. Some days I am booked solid with interviews in cities to promote advance Tour stops. I also do a lot of phone interviews while I¹m traveling between the airport and my hotel. So far I have been to Detroit, Boston, Toronto, Cleveland and New York to promote Stars coming to those areas. When I was in NYC I spent time with my sister, and we had a great time catching up.
The media days help promote the Tour and give newspapers and television stations the opportunity to do their own promos. I enjoy the media days and have come to expect most of the questions. The one question I am asked at every stop is what are my skating plans. I answer that I am concentrating on the Stars Tour and when it’s over, I will take some time off to think about my options. When I decide what I plan to do, I will make an announcement.
We do a lot of traveling by bus on this tour and that makes for some long days. But the bus is fully loaded with snacks and quick and easy foods that crackers. A typical breakfast for me on the road is toasted bran crackers with almond butter, honey, and banana, cinnamon and flax seeds. We have a refrigerator for the cold food items and drinks. Jennifer (Robinson) and I love to cook but don’t get much of a chance to do that on the bus with only a microwave.
Once we get to the venue we practice and continually try to improve the program. It’s a long day, and we don’t have time to do a lot of sightseeing.
The cast is wonderful and we’ve become a family. We respect each other’s privacy, but there are some practical jokers on tour, although I haven’t been the victim of any yet. (I probably shouldn’t have said that.)
After our shows we quickly head to the next city. We usually order out and
have the food delivered to the arena before we drive to the next city. P.F.
Chang and the Cheesecake Factory are two of our favorites. After dinner we sometimes play rockband or I catch up with phone calls, read or watch movies.
Libby from Woodridge, Illinois: Congratulations on finishing second in your
first competition. I like your decision to recognize how important education
is at such a young age.
Julia from Trenton, Canada: I’ll bet your cashmere sweater keeps you
warm. Thank you for your comments on my spiral.
Kadie from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey: I appreciate your question on
how I became a famous skater. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment to be
good at anything you do. There are sacrifices, but the rewards are gratifying when you know you have done the best you can.
Emily from Minneapolis, Minnesota: Emily, I do love skating and performing.
It gives me great pleasure to know that my performances bring happiness to people.
Marin from Plymouth, Minnesota: Good luck in passing Freestyle 4. Please keep me up to date on your progress.
Christmas was special, now it’s on to Japan
January 1, 2008
We had a wonderful Christmas week beginning with Mom, Natasha and me visiting some friends on Christmas Eve, many of whom I grew up with and saw at skating competitions. It’s just been so amazing to be home, getting to cook my own meals, and have a somewhat normal life. lol.
Christmas Day we entertained family. Mom, Natasha and I cooked all day using our Martha Stewart cookbook and everything was amazing. My crowning achievement had to be the pumpkin bread pudding with caramel ice cream. MMMMM so good. So, despite all the holiday preparations, cleaning up the house, and preparing for my next trip, it has been relaxing for me following a busy couple of months traveling and performing.
I’m leaving for Japan on January 2, where we will spend three weeks before going to Puerto Rico, which will be my first visit there. I will be performing two shows in Puerto Rico.
Because of the travel to Russia and Japan, I had to go in person to get my visa. That took a lot of time, and I had to declare every country I have visited the past 10 years. It was about 15 countries. I still have a lot of places I would like to visit and explore. The top of my travel list includes Thailand, Greece, Bali and Africa.
As the new year begins, I’m looking forward to traveling and touring with Stars on Ice – my on-ice family.
Spectacular show, brilliant Paris, home for the holidays
December 23, 2007
I’m back from a bitter cold trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, two days in beautiful Paris and now I am celebrating the holidays with my family and friends. We picked out our Christmas tree a couple of days before Christmas, decorated it and finished some last-minute shopping.
I also got together with some friends and we had a great time catching up. I miss them so much. It’s quite hard to keep up with them when I’m on the road. But then again, I get to make new ones like the Stars On Ice cast.
Well, let me tell you about my trip. The performance in Russia was set at the Hermitage Palace on an outside skating rink. The setting was breathtaking with the Palace lit in the background and a colorful Christmas tree. We had a warm dressing room, and I stayed in there until the moment before I was to perform. It was so cold and windy outside during my performance. I almost was blown over a couple times. It was also really misty since St. Petersburg is close to the sea. But the show was so spectacular. Amazing skaters, wonderful staff, super fans, and so many photographers made an amazing show. Skating is insanely popular in Russia. I hope to come back to Russia soon.
On the way home, Mom and I stopped in Paris to revisit some of the places we enjoy and to walk around the city that was brilliantly illuminated for the holidays. Paris is so beautiful and the Eiffel Tower is a stunning sight with all its lights.
It was interesting to notice that St. Petersburg and Paris are distinctly different during the holidays. St. Petersburg is a bit flashier with its colorful lights and Paris is more elegant with its bright white lights and hanging ornaments. That’s why I love to travel. Just to be able to notice and appreciate how different every place can be.
So… I only have one week before Mom and Natasha accompany me to Japan for Stars On Ice performances that begin after New Year’s. In that week I have to go to LA to pick up my visa, and I have set aside time each day for training … plus some time for good old-fashioned fun!!
Perfect day! Starbucks, sunshine and skating
December 6, 2007
I’m at LAX waiting for my flight to Canada for two skating shows this weekend but I couldn’t wait to tell you about my day.
I had some Starbucks hot chocolate, skated outdoors and met great fans. I was invited to perform a program for “Santa Monica On Ice.” It was an event to open an outdoor skating rink, sponsored by Starbucks, and it helped raise awareness for the P.S. Arts in the community. They had a lot of tents and were passing out hot chocolate with peppermint-flavored sprinkles on top.
The rink was only 75 x 75 and one of the smallest surfaces I’ve ever skated on. I skated to “Winter Wonderland” on a warm, sunny California day, looking up at the blue skies and palm trees. It was so beautiful.
I was part of the ceremonies for the opening of the “Santa Monica On Ice.” Starbucks invited me to perform. I like it that Starbucks partners with communities for their events. I met a lot of regional managers today and we had a good time. The Starbucks people are wonderful and friendly to work with.
My day was packed. I got up and showered this morning, finished packing, made breakfast, drove to Santa Monica, did media interviews, skated and signed autographs with the children, changed fast, got a quick salad and here I am!
I have practice for the Kelowna, British Columbia Canadian shows Friday and will skate Saturday and Sunday. Then it’s off to Toronto on Monday where I will meet with the media to promote the Stars On Ice show and I will be home later Tuesday. I like skating with “Stars” because their concept is very thoughtful and I like being part of the entire show. Mark your calendars for the Stars On Ice show to be on ABC-TV December 30. Let me know what you think.
There’s no slowing down for me until the week of Christmas but I enjoy being busy and it’s a lot of fun to see my fans and friends.
I hope you read the great news posted on my Web site about Starbucks inviting me to participate in the two skating rink opening. That’s a perfect match for me – Starbucks and skating.
The next Starbucks appearance will be at the Embarcadero Ice Rink on December 15. I hope many of you will come.
I am getting a chance to read my e-mails and letters. As you can see it’s very hard to respond to them but I do read them and your support is appreciated.
From my mail bag
Rich, your e-mail about today’s event in Santa Monica meant a lot to me. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you come to a Stars show with your family and friends.
John, from Calgary, I got your t-shirt and understood the words “”The Proof Is In The Pralines”.
Zennie, from Hillsborough, N.J., good luck with your writing and singing. I hope to read a magazine article or a book you write in the future.
Yuriko, from Japan, the birthday card with all the ice cream flavors was perfect! Thanks for thinking of me.
Lot of catching up…it’s been hectic!
November 24, 2007
Well, let’s see how long this entry is!
Yesterday was our first Stars On Ice show at Lake Placid. I was hosting it and it was a very long day. I think you’re really going to like the show.
For me, it’s like getting used to a new family of skaters. Cindy Stuart did a great job of choreographing the show. She’s wonderful.
The music to “Imagine” is really meaningful to me. The message of the song is so beautiful and so perfect. I tried to use the cut by John Lennon but it didn’t sound as good in the arena so we didn’t use the original.
I hope you like the story and dress photos on Jan Longmire, who makes all my dresses. She is very special to me. I am more the artistic type and Jan is technically great. I got the inspiration for “Starry Starry Night” from the Van Gogh painting and envisioned that on the ice. I am not that passionate about the technical part of making my dresses. I love fashion and maybe some day I will be involved in it. Let me hear from you what you think about the black dress after you read Jan’s story. I will post comments on my fan page.
The black dress I wear during SOI is an interesting story. I wanted something edgy with some shape and design to it. There’s a lot of crystal beading.
I just got home and I know you can relate to what I’m going to do. I’m going to unpack and do some laundry. I would really like to get a manicure but don’t know if I will do that today. I didn’t have any sushi at Lake Placid and I might go out tonight and treat myself and relax.
Last night we had our first show and afterwards there was a party that went into the morning. I went to bed at 3 a.m. but just stayed up and talked until we left at 5 a.m. to return home. I did get some sleep on the plane. I don’t mind telling you that this is one time that I am TIRED!!
We spent a nice Thanksgiving at Lake Placid. It’s one of the few Thanksgivings I’ve spent away from home but not the first time. One Thanksgiving was in Paris when I was skating there. I really missed being home and cooking. Natasha flew in to join us. We all had a nice dinner with the cast. Lisa Weiss made her famous Thanksgiving pie. It was also very cold (FREEZING) and it snowed a lot at Lake Placid while we were there.
I’m learning there are a lot of traditions with SOI. I’m new and am just learning some of them by joining the cast at the beginning of the tour. I mentioned in my earlier journal about having breakfast together the first morning. Everybody has a cute handshake they give you before you go on ice to perform and the cast exchanges gifts before opening night. I’m sure I will learn more as we travel on Tour in Japan and in the States.
I have a very busy schedule and it might not be completed yet. I’ll be opening an outdoors rink in Santa Monica December 6 and San Francisco later in the month. I hope a lot of you will visit. SOI will be traveling to Japan to do about a dozen shows before our tour in the U.S. begins. I’ll let you know as things happen.
‘Imagine’, ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ are my SOI music;
Jan Longmire made my dresses for programs
November 23, 2007
I wish I was on West Coast time tonight! That would have given me three more hours to post this journal. But I made it just under my self-imposed deadline!
I promised to tell you the music I’m skating to in Stars but didn’t know how busy we were going to be to get our costumes perfect, practices and show rehearsals.
I have chosen to skate to “Imagine” by John Lennon and “Anytime, Anywhere” by Sarah Brightman. I really like the music and lyrics to “Imagine”. I think you will too when you see me skating to it. I performed “Anytime, Anywhere” when Sarah sang the song live during my performance in Atlantic City. It was a special moment for me and I loved skating live to Sarah’s music.
Jan Longmire designed my new dresses for the show. You can read an exclusive interview my Web team produced and see pictures. Go to: http://www.sashacohen.com/costumes.shtml
I will have to tell you a little later how I came about choosing this music and how Jan and I came up with the design for my dresses. They’re beautiful and I know you will like them. Jan has made dresses for me that has captured my personality and skating with the music selections. If you would like to see Jan’s designs visit www.janlongmire.com.
It has been so busy since we’ve arrived in Lake Placid.
I was here for Thanksgiving and had a nice dinner. The first day of practice was special to participate in a SOI tradition – a group breakfast is held before our practice at the arena.
We’ve got a great cast. I can’t wait until tomorrow night.
I will update my journal as soon as possible. In the mean time if you have any questions about the show, my music, dresses made by Jan or anything else e-mail me at my web master’s address.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
November 22, 2007
It’s been a very busy time — Atlantic City last weekend, Thanksgiving and SOI this weekend at Lake Placid. I will announce my music selections by Friday night. I think you are really going to like them.
Still rushing, but will update soon. My reason for quick hi is to wish all of you and your families and friends a safe and great Thanksgiving.
Surprise! Some additional thoughts
November 1, 2007 (I’ve Arrived in NYC!)
I got a lot done on my flight here (NYC) and I also was going over some things I posted about 7 hours earlier.
I don’t think I’ve ever done two journals in about 7 hours. I don’t want to rush myself when I write my journal because I am so fortunate to have such loyal and caring fans.
I will be at Rockefeller Center Friday and Saturday. On Friday I will be skating to “Hurt” and wear the dress I perform to that number on the Today Show.
Then on Saturday I come back to Rockefeller Center and skate my Christmas program. At least that one is about 1:30 in the afternoon. “It’s to ‘Winter Wonderland’ and I’ve got a beautiful red and sparkling dress I will wear.
When I said a few hours ago my schedule was crazy, consider this. I will be at the hotel about 9:30 tonight, order room service and go right to bed. The Today Show is at 7 a.m. so I’m going to have to figure out what time I need to get up to get warmed up correctly and have my makeup and hair done. I have to be at the studio early enough to do a tease for the show.
I have scene that Andrea Bocelli will be on Friday’s show. I think he is a very talented singer.
On the plane I watched a movie, read some more chapters from the “Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by Kim Howard and I reviewed my music. It was a good trip.
This weekend I will be seeing Natasha. We plan on doing some shopping.
Then on Sunday I’m back on the plane to Las Vegas. I will be skating in the Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice show that will be taped on Tuesday and shown on Christmas Day.
Then it’s back home and getting back to training and choreographing my programs, checking on my costumes and planning the rest of the year.
I will write soon. But not in the next 7 hours!
Everything has been so crazy lately
November 1, 2007 (before boarding)
I will apologize now that this journal is likely to be shorter than usual. I hope I have time to read over it so there aren’t any mistakes. Oh well!
Things have been so crazy lately. In fact I am writing this at LAX while waiting for my flight to NYC.
I’m flying to NYC to promote the Sarah Brightman show in Atlantic City later this month and am also planning to skate a Christmas number. On the plane I must cut my music down to two minutes for the Today appearance and choreograph my program for the smaller ice. And I haven’t decided what Christmas program to perform! You can see why I’m glad this is a longer flight and how frenzied my life is right now.
I enjoyed the “Moondance Alexander” premiere and the activities surrounding it. I haven’t heard what theaters will be showing it. But if it’s not at one near you call the theater and ask them. I hope you get to see it soon.
I skated at a mall one morning and got to meet a lot of fans. Thank you Utah for your support and making my trip so wonderful. I have fond memories of Salt Lake City.
I saw the photos on my Web site and the birthday greetings that we posted. Thank you again for your thoughts.
I’ve had to put off my acting classes for now because I am so busy practicing, choreographing all my programs, designing costumes and getting ready to begin practice with Stars On Ice.
Some of you have e-mailed me and asked what my birthday was like.
I had a great birthday. Natasha came home to visit and we enjoyed seeing each other. One night we stayed up very late and just talked catching up on everything.
I baked the day before my birthday. I made cupcakes, brownies and cookies. I took some to the rink and saved some of the cupcakes for my birthday. It’s been a tradition of mine to bake and take things to the rink on special days.
I enjoy being around my family. It’s not that often we all get together. One day Natasha, Mom and I went shopping, Mom bought me a birthday present and then we went to dinner together at a Sushi restaurant.
I went to a party another day and did some more baking.
They just announced our flight was ready to board. I will write more as soon as I can. If there are some things you’re interested in e-mail me.
Thank you! You’re the best fans!
October 28, 2007
Many of you helped make my birthday even more special with your cards, gifts and e-mails. You all are an inspiration to me, too! I’ve asked my Web master to post the e-mail wishes on my fan mail page.
Amber, you put so much thought and care in your gifts. I know they meant a lot to you, too. Ric, the miniature sandals are cute. Alexa, I enjoyed your letter. You have a great memory. And a special thank you for the concluding paragraph in your report. You know what I mean!!
I will write later to get you up to date since the premiere of Moondance Alexander.
I hope I get to see many of you when I’m traveling with Stars On Ice.
My first premiere!
October 17, 2007
Hi everybody. I’m going to my first premiere on Thursday! I am sooo excited. I hope some of you who live in or near Salt Lake City will come to the premiere or some of the events I will be at. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
I’ve been asked what a premiere feels like. I really don’t know yet. This is my first role acting in a movie and everything will be new. I know I’m really excited! It should be amazing. I’m flying to Utah tomorrow.
I’ve done a lot of interviews on the radio and will have a lot more for TV and entertainment networks once I get there. Every interview I’m asked at least one or two different questions. You would think they would all be the same, but they’re not. Sometimes I get asked if I’m seeing anybody or dating. I tell them exactly what is going on at that time. My web master thought I would tell him something different when he asked, but I told him the same thing I tell everybody else – at this time I am single!
I bought a cute black mini, but not real short, dress for the premiere. I had fun shopping for it. It has some big sequins on top. It’s supposed to be in the 30s so I will have to wear a top. But once you’re on the red carpet off it comes and you just smile and answer questions.
I have seen the movie. A DVD was sent to me. I think the movie is a good family movie and it has beautiful music. I try not to judge myself but just enjoy how I’ve grown. I saw a lot of good things. All the work I have done since with classes and attending Harvard acting classes also have helped. Every time out, it’s just like skating, I try to improve.
My days continue to be busy. Last week I was in Canada taping Kurt Browning’s Gotta Skate show. Evan, Ryan, Joannie and Shae-Lynn were some of the skaters. Boyz2Men performed live. It will be shown on NBC in November.
I still workout to stay in shape. I am getting Janet to make my dresses for my solo numbers on Stars On Ice. I’ve been having dress fittings, taking acting lessons and getting new programs choreographed.
I must pack and get some sleep before flying out tomorrow. I hope to see a lot of fans from Utah this week.
Sun Valley trip was much shorter this year
September 26, 2007
Wow! The questions are pouring in and I am getting some nice messages since I posted the previous journal.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
OK, more updates….
I went to Sun Valley this year and did two shows. The fires cleared out before we got there. I was nervous since I heard the fires were active this summer. This is the first year we didn’t take a vacation while I was there. Natasha was going back to school for her second year and my mom went with her. I did the shows and came home. I had been away for almost the whole summer and I had plenty to do at home.
I have two little nagging injuries. I strained my calf and I pulled something in my back. I’m getting therapy and already feeling better. It’s just not being in skating shape.
I have been very busy since I’ve been home. I have a lot of programs to choreography and a lot of dresses to design.
I was on my way to voice class recently and thought of an idea with one dress I wanted to talk to my designer about. I’m kind of glad that the costumes will be made for the Fashion On Ice show. And I know Jeff Billings is doing the designing for Stars. That does help out.
This week I am participating in “Launch, Declare Yourself.” It’s in LA.
I wrote an article in a book encouraging 18-year-olds to get out and vote I think it’s really important for people to have an opinion and beware of what’s going on in our country.
During my many trips to my acting and voice lessons I listen to music or books on tape. I’m listening to Jane Ayer now.
Sasha takes intensive acting course at Harvard
September 23, 2007
I received an e-mail from Alessio in Italy asking me to update my journal and write what I am doing. Alessio, thank you for your e-mail. I will be posting a couple of journals this week and answer questions I received by mail on the fans page by mid-week.
I have so much to get you up to date on I will have to break it out into different times of my summer. This journal will be about how my summer started. I will follow up with some other things I’ve done, my appearing with Stars On Ice and where I will be skating this year.
I can’t believe how busy my summer has been. I took an intensive six-week course at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. We had class six days all day and sometimes into the evening. I skated on Sunday but mostly worked hard on learning some acting fundamentals.
I did this completely for myself and didn’t want to tell many people. I didn’t want any rumors started and wanted to wait and explain what I did on my Web site. I wanted to concentrate totally on this course. It proved helpful for my acting career and exposed me to what actors must do. In Russia they study for four yours. For me this was like a new leaf. It was great to stay in the dorms and build relationships with other people. I’ve not done that before.
We would start every class with an hour and a half of basic stage movements. That was my conditioning program during those six weeks! But I learned to use parts of my body I have never used before. We had jump training, yoga, stretching and other activities. Some of the things were cool and some were really hard! They teach you to be in control of your body.
One of our assignments was to perform several shortened plays for an audience. I had to cry real tears in one scene. I knew it would be hard because for so many years in skating we were taught to hide our feelings. One of the most important things I learned from the course is to let yourself be vulnerable. It’s OK to be emotional.
I am going to a voice class today and will end this entry in a couple of minutes. It’s not a speech class. It’s learning how to say what you say. The voice lessons teach us to learn the apparatus we have to use. We don’t speak from within the throat. You learn to speak from within your belly and let it bounce off the roof of your mouth. It takes a lot of breathing exercises. Sometimes the exercises are practiced when we’re upside down!
I will put another entry up by Tuesday.
Thank you for the mail and your continued support.
Ducks win the Cup! Go Ducks!
June 6, 2007
How about those Ducks!
Stanley Cup Champions 2007!
I’m going on vacation to Europe. Go Ducks!
June 3, 2007
I can’t believe the Tour is over. I got a couple days rest before the final two appearances. Some of us had dinner together and enjoyed seeing each other. It’s hard to believe we won’t see each other until the season begins or some of the skaters on Tour.
I went to two Anaheim Ducks games in the hockey playoffs. I saw them win twice against Ottawa and then I had to head to the final tour stops. I had a great time. The first game I was there as part of the Champions on Ice promotion and the second time we had a box and cheered for the Ducks. The fighting didn’t bother me. I thought it was very entertaining. I’m going to miss the rest of the series because I will be in Barcelona for vacation. But I will keep up with the Ducks through the Internet.
I’m going on vacation with my family to Spain and Portugal. I am meeting my mother and Natasha in Barcelona. I like visiting different parts of the world I haven’t been to. I like the Spanish lifestyle and their music. It’s very likely I will bring back some kind of flamenco music. I’m sure I’m come back with some ideas for music and programs.
We’ll spend some time relaxing and touring around the country. It’s always good to see Natasha. When we were younger we use to fight like cats and dogs. We’re older and I enjoy spending a lot of ‘Tasha. We’ll have a lot of fun and a lot to talk about.
When I get back I’ll have some time to spend with my Mia and I hope to take some acting classes. It will also be time to get in shape and begin training again. I will be looking to add some programs, too.
‘Happy Mother’s Day! Here’s some surprises
May 11, 2007
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms on Sunday. I hope you remember your mom on her special day.
Here’s a surprise! I have finally had a couple of days off to enjoy relaxing by the pool and reading and I am enjoying it! But it feels so strange. The weather is so amazing here and there isn’t a cloud in the sky as I’m writing this. (I know you’ve been reading about the fires. We haven’t been close to any here.) I’m such a go-go-go person that it’s kind of awkward not doing something every minute. I still train and keep in shape. I practice and make sure I work hard leading up to the tour dates. I’ve dropped in on some acting classes at the studio I’ve been to in the past but I can’t sign up for a group of classes because I’m on tour when some of them take place.
I’ve taken some auditioning and technique classes. I still get scripts to read but I must be a little picky with the roles. I enjoy auditioning because you have to perform a different role. I understand that someone may audition and give the best performance of their life but if it doesn’t exactly fit the role the studio is looking for you still won’t get the part. If they are looking for a special type actor you will still be passed over. I’m young and understand I have to build my career with small parts.
Here’s surprise No. 2! It’s funny but I haven’t been shopping lately. When I was on tour in the past I was making money and I would go out shopping with other skaters. I’ve been focused on my career and been saving money lately.
The Champions On Ice tour is strange this year. We all come together to perform on weekends and then we all fly out afterward. There’s not enough time to go out to eat or bond as we’ve done in the past. I miss the camaraderie we’ve had in the past.
I’ve been asked how it feels to skate at the end of the performance. I don’t really think about that. We’re all together for the final number and that’s a lot of fun. With COI being an American tour and I being an American skater I’m sure that has something to do with it. It also comes with some responsibility and I do feel pressure to do well and stay in good condition and shape. I feel the responsibility to do a good job when I’m performing.
I can hear the crowd shouting things to me but we are on such a tight schedule I’ve got to get off the ice and to the bus on schedule. I like meeting the fans and signing autographs. I’ve taken a lot of pictures with fans and I must tell you I appreciate your kindness and understanding.
On the other side it’s nice to be able to spend time at home and with my family. Natasha has one more exam and comes home next week. I’m looking forward to spending some time with her. She will be home for the summer.
My hair is a little darker than usual. I have to get it cut. I am so low maintenance and having fun I haven’t thought much about going to the salon. But that’s on my to-do list!
I must go but I will make a short announcement, nothing major, this weekend. It’s a response to many fan requests.
‘Blades’ premiere sensational; it’s on to Marshalls
April 2, 2007
Have you seen “Blades of Glory” yet? And did you see it was the top film of the week?
I went with Evan and my mom to the premiere and we laughed all the way through it. We sometimes would whisper how we thought something could have been done differently but I thought it was really funny. I thought the script could have been a little bit stronger with skating but everybody did a great job.
My part was one of the last ones filmed. I was told that I was better than they thought I would be and if they had to do it over again or had more time they might have considered to have me do more. I’m happy to be a part of a film with Will Ferrell.
Instead of the red carpet they had a blue carpet to represent ice. Premieres are so hectic. Photographers are shooting photos, a lot of people are walking down the carpet and you’re asked to turn in different directions by the photographers. There was a post-premiere party. I got to talk to the producers and directors. I got to talk to Will Ferrell for a while. I got to see and talk with Ben Stiller, too.
I hope you liked my dress. I picked the black and white long dress because it had a classic look. It had an old-style feeling. I really liked it.
I’ve only seen the movie the night of the premiere. I have been so busy. The morning after the premiere I skated and flew to Boston. I did a fundraiser there and then took a tour of Harvard the next day. I got to meet with different administrators and department heads. That night I had a nice dinner with a hockey player from the Boston Bruins I met earlier when I was in Boston.
I don’t know how I keep going so much. I try to get home and get plenty of sleep. Some days I drink too much coffee and it keeps me on the go-go-go. Then I just have to stop.
I am in New York a couple of days this week and will do some promotions for Champions On Ice. I have some business meetings and will visit some friends and Natasha. We’ll got out to some restaurants and have e some fun and relax.
I will be in Reading for Marshalls this weekend. I am planning on skating to two numbers. I will skate to “Hurt” and “God Bless America”.
Premier is two days away; Sasha answers mail
March 26, 2007
It’s only a couple of days until the premier of “Blades of Glory.”
It will be exciting to walk down the red carpet. I like premiers because it’s always an enthusiastic scene. The TV cameras, photographers and reporters are all out. It’s really hyped up.
I’ve got my dress picked out. It’s very pretty white and black silk and strapless. It’s very classical. It reminds me of old Hollywood. I can just imagine Audrey Hepburn in a dress like that.
There’s not a lot of tickets available for a premier. Usually after the stars, agents and guests get them there are few left.
I will fly to New York for a couple of days, skate at Marshalls in Reading, Penn., and then begin the Champions On Ice Tour. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you on tour.
I have read a lot of the e-mail and letters I have received. I can’t believe all the support you have given me in my year off. It has meant a lot to me and has been an inspiration.
I have a little time to answer some mail.
Abby from Dix Hills, N.Y. – Abby, I am honored you are doing a report on me. A lot of the questions you asked can be found in my biography, modeling, athletic competitions and entertainment pages.
Megan from Sebastopol, Calif. – Thank you for the letter Megan. I love your photos. You look like you’re working hard on your posture. Don’t forget to keep your head up. I hope to see you in Sacramento on May 19 at the COI show. Say hi to your classmates.
Domenica from Boston – What pretty roses on your letter! I love the skate boot with my initials. I imagine it is pretty hard to find an ice skating rink in Ecuador but I’m glad you are roller skating. Domenica, your English is excellent.
Samantha from Singapore – Samantha your writing is the prettiest and smallest I can remember reading in a long time. I hope you enjoy CSI: New York. Good luck on your exams.
Janet from Upland, Calif. – Janet, congratulations on a very nice and neatly typed business letter. Please let your teacher know I received it. Keep the good work.
Elizabeth from Palatine, Illinois – Elizabeth, thank you for reading my book. Yes, I have a fun attitude. As you noted, it takes a lot of work to be successful in school and skating. I’m proud of how hard you’re working to reach your goals.
Beth from Shelby Twp. MI. — Wow! Beth, you’re doing a good job learning to write letters in computer class. You’re very good for only being in the third grade
‘Blades of Glory’ promotions keep Sasha busy
March 24, 2007
I took the red-eye from home to Portland, Maine for tonight’s final Stars On Ice appearance. I didn’t get much sleep – just some dozing. I fly back home after the show and will do some more promotions for “Blades of Glory” next week. The premier is Wednesday night and that will be a lot of fun.
Last week I judged a skating contest for a “Blades of Glory” promo that was totally right out of “American Idol.” Some of the contestants couldn’t skate at all. It was so funny. Some contestants even did some Karaoke. It was a lot of fun and all the contestants were great sports. A little skater, probably an intermediate or novice, won.
I’ve done some radio interviews for “Blades of Glory” and will have more next week. Some of the questions are what is it like working on a movie? And what it’s like to meet Will Ferrell? I’m looking forward to the premier. I’ve only got a little time left today so I will post some thoughts on the premier and what I will be wearing by Monday.
Looking back, I’ve been so busy I’m glad I took a season off. I still have a lot of fun skating every day. In fact I was skating Friday and doing laundry before catching my flight.
I have a funny story to tell you about running on the beach Friday. It was a beautiful day and I just closed my eyes and ran. I have run the beach a lot. But I under estimated where I was and swerved into the water. Actually it was very funny but it really surprised me at the time, too!
I guess you read where my luggage got lost on a flight from Philadelphia to Cambridge, Massachusetts to promote Champions On Ice. I was told my luggage didn’t arrive on the flight and it would come on the next flight and they would send it immediately. Then when I got to the arena I called and they said my luggage had arrived. We went to the airport and there were 400 to 500 bags in the luggage area from three flights. It was absolutely crazy.
Right after Wednesday’s premier I fly to New York where I will do some media and hang out with some friends. Then I will be headed to Marshalls to skate and about a week later we start the COI Tour.
I look forward to reading what you think of the movie. And I hope I see a lot of you on Tour.
Acting classes, Bratz movie, auditions keep Sasha busy
March 3, 2007
I have just finished taking my first set of acting classes and they went extremely well. The past month I’ve been taking classes, auditioning for parts in movies, I got a part in a movie due out this summer and I continue to skate everyday. I went through what is called Actors’ Boot Camp. I loved it and I will take Boot Camp II. I haven’t scheduled it yet because I don’t know how it will fit in while on the Champions On Ice Tour. With Stars On Ice coming up I will probably watch a lot of movies while on tour to learn from the actors how they perform their scenes.
The filming of my part in “Bratz: The Movie” was completed last month. The film is scheduled to open in August. I play the part of the head cheerleader. It’s another great opportunity for me to build my resume and continue working toward bigger movies. I am also pleased to be involved with this movie because Bratz is branded to encourage young girls to follow their dreams. I believe in that and it has been my philosophy throughout my life.
I’ve been asked how I learn to read for my parts when I have an audition or part in a movie or TV. I first read the script all the way through to understand the character that is specific to me and who are the family of characters. The scenes have to be studied and I break down the script to get my lines down and into character.
For the audition I know my character and work within the moment. I do get nervous because it is different than skating where I can lose myself in the music. I have to figure out different ways to be in character in acting and control my voice. There’s also a lot of sitting around and wait.
I do like that they dress you, there’s someone to do your hair and another person for makeup. I love being dressed up and being pampered. But I am the type of person that is a doer. Sometimes when they’re trying to do something with my hair I’m like “Come on, just let me do it!” But that’s just part of the business and it is fun! I love being around all the people in the industry. They are so positive and have so much energy.
I only attended one pre-Oscar party this year. It was more hectic last year when I participated in a lot of the parties by reporting on them. It’s nice to go to them but it’s also more fun when you’re a part of them. I would have had to miss some class time and I knew that was important.
Just last night my agent gave me another script to read for an audition on Monday. Evan and I then went out for some Sushi, which is now my favorite food. It gave me some time to relax before getting into the script for the rest of the weekend.
I will be sure to post a journal next week.
Sasha keeps busy with charity event, parties
January 20, 2007
I have a lot to tell you about since I last wrote.
I’ve attended some wonderful events for charities, parties, auditioning, taking acting classes, skating and visiting Natasha and friends while in NYC. And I got to see Timmy. He’s doing great and says he enjoys Columbia University. For those that don’t know he’s majoring in International Finance. It was also nice to spend some time with Jeremy, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles this year.
I have been asked in e-mails and letters what it was like to attend Jim Carey’s Christmas Party. It was so fabulous and so over the top! We skated together some. He wore hockey skates and told me he learned to skate while in Canada.
Jim had the party at a Paramount Studio to benefit the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Spark of Love toy drive. There must have been about 1,000 toys brought for area needy children.
Jim had had a skating rink built on the center of the studio! There was snow, elves, gingerbread houses, real reindeer and cookie decorating for guests. Of course Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus were there! So were Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes!
I went with my Mom, Natasha and a friend, Lynn. I got to mingle with a lot of Jim’s friends. Some of the guests there included Ben Stiller, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jennie McCarthy, Ron Howard and a great group of stars, musicians and entertainers.
Jim said he and his training partner watch me skate whenever I’m on TV and thought of me when he was planning the party. I skated some exhibitions at the party and had a great time.
I kept my Christmas and New Year’s low key. I spent it with family and friends. I already told you about my “Christmas Lighting Tour”. That was a lot of fun and something I haven’t been able to do in years past. For New Year’s Mom, Natasha and a friend went to LA and had some sushi. That’s now my favorite food.
I hope you got to see the photos and read the news story about Weatherproof’s Coat the Rink Skate-a-thon. Ethan Lercher took the photos and gave us permission to share them with you. I had a great time and it was for a great cause. The fans were great and Ethan and everybody at The Pond at Bryant Park did a great job. And a lot of coats were collected!
I met Steve Forbes and did interviews for the Forbes Video Network. One was on skating and another was on other activities. We attended a lot of meetings while we were NYC so it was somewhat busy.
I went to the Universal and In Style parties with my mom during the Golden Globe awards. I saw Jerry O’Connell who I worked with on Vegas. I was just getting over a cold I got in New York and wasn’t feeling well. The parties were great and they were very crowded because all of them were held at the same hotel in ballrooms and conference rooms.
I’m not going to Nationals but plan on watching it on TV. I don’t know how it will feel not skating at a U.S. Championships. I’ll let you know next week.
Grandma’s oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe
December 18, 2006
A lot of you have e-mailed me asking for the oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe I mentioned in my book. It’s a recipe I got from my grandma from my dad’s family in San Francisco.
A lot of us will be baking this week and this is a great cookie to make and a better one to eat. The dough’s not bad to eat either!
My grandma would add either chocolate chips or dark raisins so I am including that as an alternative ingredient. Use the one you like best.
It’s a special recipe for me because it holds so many memories of Natasha and I when we grew up and visited my grandma.
You’re invited to share the recipe with your friends and you’re also invited to e-mail me with how the cookies turned out. I will post your comments.
SASHA’S FAMILY OATMEAL COOKIE RECIPE
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup sifter flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Quick or Regular Oats
1 cup chocolate chips or dark raisins
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to creamed mixture. Blend thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips (or raisins), nuts, oats and coconut.
Drop by tablespoons on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned.
It was a great experience being on CSI: NY
December 14, 2006
I enjoyed the CSI: NY episode. I’m a little disappointed I was cut out from some of the scenes. There were more scenes that I was in but I’m still happy. That’s a lot to get into an hour show with everybody else.
I hope most of you got a chance to see the show. And good luck guessing the trivia question. I think it’s about 24 hours left in the contest. If you have some questions about my appearance on the show I will answer your questions on Thursday.
My scene that I had to act emotional was interesting to learn. The more I do that kind of acting the better I will get. It was a different kind of acting for me. I thought it was good and I can learn from it. I can do better.
I watched myself and it was like people being very critical of you. My mom said “you don’t look like my daughter, you look like an actress!” We both got a chuckle out of that.
The first part of the show was harder than you think, playing broomball. Remember all the different angles with everybody passing? The director would stop and want to look at each angle and we would do them over to get everything just right. That was a lot of work. There were so many different angles. I was in tennis shoes and I didn’t have a lot of traction. I wasn’t used to that on the ice!
I thought it was neat they trusted me to design my own dress. As you know they wanted me to use the color lavender. I liked the floating piece of chiffon to help make it shimmery. I’m so lucky to have Jan Longmire as my dressmaker. She is so good and great to work with.
The skating sequences in the show were a little awkward. Because it was on TV they wanted me to wear the dress in practice. I tried to explain that skaters don’t practice in their dresses, we just wear workout clothes! I also wasn’t used to skating in the spotlight and had to adjust to that.
The cast and crew seemed to enjoy my skating. Some of them hadn’t been that near the sport and weren’t big skating fans. They told me how much they enjoyed watching me skate and thanked me.
Melina Kanakaredes (Detective Stella Bonasera) was wonderful to work with. She also offered some tips on some classes to take. Melina brought her daughter, she’s a cute little girl, to the set and ntroduced her to me.
To Ava from Topanga, California:
Thanks for your nice letter and drawing. And the surprise you sent was very “sweet”.
To Brianna from Worcester, MA.
Congratulations on your 100 on your book report. Keep up the good work in school and skating.
My new program is to West Side Story
December 8, 2006
I have put together a new program and have new dresses I am planning on wearing during Sunday’s Marshalls Skating Challenge.
My new program is to West Side Story. I love the music and the beat. It’s a different style for me and away from the classical music I have used for most of my competitive career so far. West Side Story is music that allows me to do some different things and fly all over the place. I had fun putting this program together and have had some good run-throughs.
I will skate my short program to God Bless America.
I am looking forward to competing Sunday while still seeing friends. It’s on live TV so that adds a little more excitement. I like the format putting the West Coast and East Coast skaters competing against each other. The top two in the first round will skate in the second round. That means I will be competing against Evan in the first round and hopefully against Johnny in the final round.
I’m sure most of you know fans will get to vote for the outcome. I won’t put the phone number or Web address here but I have asked my web master to provide the information on my home page by Saturday afternoon.
I hope I see, and hear, a lot of you at the competition.
I have to get ready to pack but will post another journal from Boston to tell you more about what I’m doing off ice.
Join Sasha on her Christmas tree lighting tour
December 5, 2006
I feel like I’ve been on the Christmas Lighting Tour!
I’ve been to New York, San Diego and participated in a tree lighting at the South Coast Plaza here. I just got back from the Galleria in Dallas where I performed in a celebrity skating show last weekend.
It was so wonderful skating with Christine singing when I was skating at Rockefeller Center. I’ve always been a fan of hers and I like the song “Hurt”. I have it on my iPod and play it a lot. I’ve even been skating to it at times.
I read where it was estimated about 100,000 attended the tree lighting and performances. The crowd in NYC was very enthusiastic. We all were treated very well by the producers of the program. It was fun working in wardrobe, makeup and hair. Everything is so festive.
By the way the picture of Christina and me was taken by Natasha. Isn’t that a great shot?
The tree lighting at the South Coast Plaza was different for me. Hal Landon Jr. and I emceed the lighting of the tree held at Town Center Park last Wednesday. Hal performs as Scrooge each year in a stage production. The 95-foot tree looked so big when looking straight up. I can’t imagine how a tree that size gets decorated so beautifully. It holds about 20,000 lights.
The crowd helped us count down the seconds to the lighting of the tree. At each of the final seconds a section of the tree glowed. When we all said “One!” the star on the top turned bright and a couple buildings outlined in lights had theirs turned on.
The Galleria in Dallas was decorated beautifully for the holidays. I performed last Saturday and there were a lot of other activities for the children. Story times and singalongs were held and of course Santa was kept quite busy despite almost four weeks to Christmas.
I have been very busy but I like to live my life that way. It feels good to have a purpose and work and accomplish a lot of things. I’m getting to spend time with my family.
Yesterday I did some voice overs for CSI: NY. I will do some for the movies I did later this week or next.
Sometimes I think I write too much! I will stop for now but post another journal by Thursday with some skating news.
Sasha with Christina Aguilera at the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center in New York. Sasha skated while Christine sang”Hurt” from her newest CD “Back to Basics”.
Coming up: Today, Christina Aguilera and CSI: NY
November 7, 2006
Hi everybody. I’ve got a busy schedule ahead and have been quite busy the past month. I received a lot of e-mails and cards wishing me a Happy Birthday. I can’t believe so many of you remembered and took the time to think of me!
Samantha O. sent a very nice e-mail that just about described my birthday. She wished me a day filled with relaxation, good food, friends and family. Samantha, your message also was an inspiration to me!
Kaitlyn from Holyoke, Massachusetts sent a very pretty card with a rainbow and beautiful verse. And Dave from VanBuren, Maine sent a nice message that included some kind thoughts on my acting and commercial pursuits.
Which gives me a good place to start to tell you some very exciting news. I will be in New York for several events this weekend. I will be on the Today show Friday morning and later will perform at Rockefeller Center with Christina Aguilera while she sings “Hurt” from her album “Back to Basics”. Christina is one of my favorite artists and I am so pleased I have been asked to perform with her. I only have a couple of days to choose the dress I will wear and that’s going to be a hard decision. NBC is going to tape the performance for showing later this year. I have a fun time when I’m on Today. It will be early for me since I fly into New York from California Thursday evening. Everybody at NBC and Today have always been great to work with and have always made me feel comfortable.
I will be on the set for my appearance on CSI: New York next Monday and Tuesday. I have an idea of the theme but I prefer CBS announce it since the network has been so supportive of me and asking me to be part of their show. I can tell you that I designed the dress I will appear in. The production department told me to base it around the color lavender. I can’t remember the last time I used lavender as the base color. It will have beading, too. I have a fitting tomorrow and we’ll see where we go from there.
I’ve had a full schedule the past month. I’m continuing to take acting classes. The classes are 5-6 hours twice a week. I have also been practicing my skating and working on a couple of new programs with choreographer Phillip Mills. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to music for them and think we have made some good choices.
My sister has a break and is visiting. We will go back to New York together later this week. I always look forward to seeing her and we have a good time when we see each other.
Oops! I almost forgot. When I mentioned Samantha’s e-mail I wanted to share with you what I did on my birthday. It was a great day. I have a tradition of bringing cupcakes with sprinkles on them to the rink on my birthday. After my practice I went shopping with my mom and grandmother. And I had dinner with friends at a Sushi restaurant that evening.
I am adding a brand new section to my Web site and have been working on that, too. It is coming along nicely but I don’t want to show anything until it is completed. I think you will be pleased. I am going to give you a sneak preview of photos of me in “Moondance Alexandra” directed by Michael Damian.
Wow! I can’t believe I wrote this long. I think it’s a record. I will add another journal after my return from New York.
I’m getting a new dress and I’m excited to be competing
October 12, 2006
I’ve had several weeks of good practices and am in really good shape. I am excited about returning to competitive skating. I just decided to get a new dress and have designed it last week. It should be ready by the end of the week so I’m anxious to get it. I thought it would be good to have a new dress because I have changed. It’s pretty simple but elegant and I think more stunning.
I have been taking acting classes and I think I will naturally add some dramatic and different ways to get into character.
The team event at the Campbell’s Cup should be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to skating in the team event. It’s live on television and I will be able to perform without the individual pressure I put on myself. I’m not concerned with the negatives. I hope I compete as well as I’ve been practicing. It will also be fun to visit with my friends.
Do you like the length of my hair? I can’t remember when it’s been that long. I like it and am trying to see how long I can grow it before I decide to cut it.
Since my last journal I have skated my cameo part in Ben Stiller’s Blades of Glory. I can’t tell you what I did but I think you will like it. It’s a very funny movie. I got a chance to talk to Ben and we discussed trying to get together in future movies.
I will have a busy weekend. After the Campbell’s Cup I go to New York for the Women’s Foundation Awards dinner Monday night and the next day I have an appearance at Footlocker. I will spend some time with my sister, do some shopping and enjoy some restaurants.
I haven’t got the script for my part in CSI: NY that will be taped later this fall. I have an idea what my role will be but I can’t disclose it.
Before I sign off on this journal I must give a great big thank you to Anne Donze who made a paper doll and magnetic doll set. It is beautiful and must have taken a lot of work. You’re very talented Anne. Thank you. I’ve enjoyed playing and dressing up the doll, just like when I was little.
Su-Lin Dunster from Singapore sent a very nice note expressing how much an inspiration my skating has been to her. Su-Lin, your letter is an inspiration to me and I wish you good luck and thank you for supporting me.
Good luck to you Rachel for taking up skating and wanting to set goals. Believe in yourself!
I will write after my return from the competition and my appearances. I will send all my fans a signal on TV Sunday.
I’m getting back into skating shape
September 26, 2006
It’s good to be home from Japan. I had a great time.
I’m back getting into skating shape and preparing for the Pro-Am in mid-October. I am going to do my short program I used last season and will probably wear the same dress. I didn’t have any time to put together a new program or design a new dress.
The workouts I’m doing now are not the same kind of workouts I do while on Tour. It’s difficult to stay in competitive shape when we’re doing so much traveling and it’s hard to maintain a strict diet. We have catering, eat out together when we can and it doesn’t lend to good nutrition discipline while touring. I eat a lot of fish and chicken but it’s not the same as being in training.
It takes me about three days to begin to feel like I’m getting into competitive shape. The first few days it’s so difficult to change your lifestyle. It’s a lot of skating and endurance plus off-ice drills. Each day I get more motivated. I have added yoga to my workout schedule.
Mr. Nicks will be coaching me soon. I need to get into better shape and then we will work together to get ready for the competition. I see him at the rink everyday. I’m looking forward to competing again.
I will go to New York after the Pro-Am to attend the Women in Sports Foundation banquet.
I haven’t got the script for CSI: NY, yet. I should be getting that soon. I don’t know what my role will be yet. I’m excited to find out!
I will be in a Christmas Show while I’m in New York. The theme is Christmas Around the World.
After the pro-am I am planning on taking some acting classes in LA and try some auditioning. I will audit the acting classes. It will be something new to me to get back into the school environment. I’m looking forward to it.
I hope you enjoyed my journal from Japan. It was done on the go. As I said, the Japanese had everything so well organized for the shows. Some of us took buses to tour Tokyo. I didn’t make it to any clubs but some of us did go where they had karaoke. No, I can’t sing!
Now that I’m home I expect to keep you posted more frequently.
Special thanks to the Japanese fans who treated me so well and sent me such nice and supportive letters and e-mails.
I love Tokyo! People and shopping are great
September 15, 2006
I love Tokyo, especially Ginza. It’s like a deluxe Japanese version of 5th Ave in NYC. There are so many cute clothing stores and the sizes are really small. When I walk the streets of Tokyo I actually feel tall. Most of the women are 5 feet or so.
I haven’t bought any clothes because it’s so expensive. In fact the same things are 30 percent more than at home.
The department stores are beautiful and all have beautifully displayed food sections. They have many of the designer pastries from Paris.
The food presentation is very important in the Japanese culture so everything is very meticulously kept up. They are very organized and have thought of every last convenience.
The sushi is great. Most all the food has been very good. Especially the fruit. It’s so ripe and flavorful.
I loved seeing the daily life in Tokyo, and just absorbing the whole culture. I took the bullet train and it is so incredibly fast. My mom and I had to run around the train station with 4 bags changing trains, and trying to read Japanese signs so we would end up in the right city. That was pretty stressful. Fortunately we found the right trains.
I spend a lot of time with the French gang. That would be Surya and Stephan, Marina and Gwendal. We’re all close from doing COI in America for 4 months.
The Japanese fans are truly amazing. They are so dedicated and appreciative of our work. They are incredibly considerate, and give us so many gifts it feels like Christmas. I’ll be coming home with Japanese fans, toys, cookies, clothes . . . the works.
The shows have all been sold out, and the audience claps through the entire show. Everything is organized to the last detail and it makes it very easy for the skaters to do their job.
It’s almost time to come home but this has been amazing trip.
Got Milk? Photo shoot was way too cool!
September 3, 2006
I want to tell you how much fun it was to shoot the Got Milk? photos. I always wanted to be in a milk advertisement.
It took about a day to shoot it in New York. I did it during one of our days off from the Champions On Ice Tour.
I’ve already received e-mails asking how I made the milk moustache. I think that was one of the best parts of the entire day. Yes, we used milk! To create the moustache and have it stay just long enough for the photographer we used several ingredients. Mixed all together it tasted like a milk shake. One of my favorite ice creams was used, vanilla Haagen Dazs! The photographer shot a lot of photos but that only meant I had to sip it again!
I had to sip it just right to cover my lips and not have it all over my face and down my mouth. It really is almost an art to get it just right!
An igloo-type set for the shoot was used.. It looks colder than it felt. I was very comfortable. All the people associated with the production of the ad were great professionals.
I am also very pleased to be part of a new promotion that encourages good nutrition and fitness. I have always promoted good eating habits and exercise and want to be a role model for good health.
I didn’t know at the time it was going to be part of the new American Milk Producers’ Body By Milk campaign. But it feels awesome to be part of it. It’s also nice to be in such great company such as A-Rod, David Beckham and Carrie Underwood. Since I’ve been to some baseball games I remember Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees is called A-Rod!
I will announce a contest after Labor Day. Start practicing your milk smiles!
I’m recharged with a terrific vacation in Sun Valley
August 24, 2006
It’s been a great week here with my family. I promised another journal and I appreciate your patience. I’m going to catch up with a lot of things I did before vacation but ran out of time to write.
I still can’t believe the mail that keeps coming. I had a very nice letter from Kerby from Renton, Washington. Kerby told me she was sitting in the second row in the Seattle show. She told me the sports she participates in. Kerby’s letter was inspirational. Keep up the good work in bowling and bicycling Kerby. I’m proud of you.
Last weekend was the exhibition skate and the rest of the week was spent deciding whether to go fishing, taking in a barbecue with some friends, making smores by the fireside and eating at some of our favorite restaurants. Sun Valley is a great vacation spot for me. There’s a lot to do if you want to stay busy, it’s a beautiful part of the country and it’s stress-free. I ran in the mornings around the beautiful countryside and mountains.
I got my photos back from the photo shoot just before I left on vacation. I sent a couple to the USFSA to use with my official bio. I hope you get a chance to see it. Let me know what you think. Russell Baer took the photos. He lives in Los Angeles and has quite a portfolio of celebrities, athletes and portraits. I can’t think of a celebrity, fashion or news magazine his work has not appeared in. He spent a lot of time with me and caught a lot of poses in several outfits. I think they turned out really cute. I will share more of them later when I get time to view them. I’ve asked my Web masters to redesign my Web site using some of the new photos. We will be working on that soon, too.
I forgot to explain what it was like during the final Champions On Ice shows before we all split and went our separate ways. Most of us don’t think about the last show being the last time we will see each other. It’s only a short time before competitions, training and shows before we run into each other again. The last night we rented two big rooms in a club and had a great dinner and a lot of fun. We had a good time, shared a lot of fun stories and just enjoyed our final evening together. The cast doesn’t usually do any pranks, although there are some who like to see what they can get away with without being caught!
Oh! I almost forgot! I got to throw out the ceremonial pitch at Dodgers Stadium. I think I’m getting better. The pitch went to the catcher and the crowd cheered. It was the first time I was at a baseball game in LA. The stadium is beautiful. It has pretty palm trees and hills beyond the outfield fences that give the stadium a comfortable feel.
I mentioned last week that mom and Natasha will be going to NYC to get Natasha settled in at Barnard College. I will join them the day after the Emmys.
Well, I think I’m caught up with most of the news. It seems that this week is going faster than when I’m completely busy morning to night. But the timing was perfect.
Vacation is next. Then I’m filming Ben Stiller’s movie!
August 17, 2006
Where did the time go?
I can’t believe the Tour is over. It went so fast. It was also tough not having a break this season. There was something to do every day.
In fact, I won’t be home for a while until mid-September. I skate Saturday in the Sun Valley exhibition and then we’re going to take a week off and enjoy some down time together.
I want to thank all of my fans for a great response to my “God Bless America” program. You made every performance special. I enjoyed meeting a lot of you after the shows. I looked forward to meeting many of you and seeing some of you again. Your signs and notes were much appreciated.
After Sun Valley I come home for two days while my mom and Natasha head to New York. Natasha is entering Barnard and we’re going to New York to get her settled.
I will attend some Emmy parties and join Mom and Natasha one day later in NYC.
After that I will come home and film a part in the Ben Stiller movie “Blades of Glory”. That is going to be a lot of fun. It stars Will Ferrell and Ben is the producer. It’s scheduled to be released next year.
After that I go to Tokyo to skate in some shows. I’m really excited about that. I’ve never been to Tokyo. Then I will come home and get into my training.
My first skate will be in the Pro-Am in Cincinnati in mid-October.
I am just getting settled in Sun Valley. I wanted to get a quick entry before I went to bed.
Next week will be a lot more relaxed and I promise I will give a more detailed journal.
It was fun playing a mean girl in Moondance Alexander
August 5, 2006
Can you believe we have six shows left with Champions On Ice?
Our last show is August 16 in Las Vegas and then I’m taking vacation in Sun Valley. I will do a show there and then my Olympic season will come to an end.
But by the amount of emails I have gotten you want to hear about my first movie.
I can’t begin to describe what it was like to learn lines, perform a role of another person and be around such a creative cast. It’s everything I dreamed and hopefully the beginning of a wonderful career in movies.
The crew was so much fun. They worked hard were very supportive and helpful to me. I am very lucky to be associated with such great people in my first acting role.
I play a mean, snobby girl who is good at riding a horse. I liked playing the mean girls because I got to have the best of everything in the movie. I had the best matching outfits and skirts, a beautiful horse and great riding clothes.
Some of my friends asked how I could play the mean person. I’m glad I was given that role. I liked being mean. It’s so out of character but it was so much fun! It wasn’t hard (lol). I thought I did well expressing myself through words and with other people.
It was gorgeous filming outdoors in Canada. It was breathless riding in the hills in the beautiful countryside. It was a wonderful time to interact with the cast.
The entire experience was so awesome. One of the best things was being able to work with the other people in the cast.
I got to talk with Don Johnson a little bit at the end of a couple of scenes. He is good at horseback riding.
I’m looking forward to the movie’s release.
I will be shooting an episode of CSI: New York later this year. The shooting will be in November and the episode is scheduled in December from what I know right now.
I have received some scripts that I am looking over.
This entire spring and summer has been kind of surprising what has come my way and it’s been really rewarding how much I was able to do.
My first baseball game was a hit. Fan mail is sent!
July 25, 2006
Let’s see, where am I today?
I’m in Billings, Montana for a show tonight.
I have been so busy it’s hard to keep track of my schedule. I honestly don’t keep a master schedule. My agents Lee and Shannon let me know my schedule and where I’m supposed to be and what I’m doing. It has been so frantic keeping up with everything and doing a lot of different things.
I went to my first baseball game last Monday when we were in Phoenix. I got to throw out the first pitch before the game between Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’ve never been to a baseball game or threw a baseball before. Eric Byrnes, an outfielder, and Conor Jackson, who plays first base, helped me practice before the game. They were real sweet and made me feel comfortable.
I wanted to throw it right. I did pretty well. The toss made it to the catcher and I threw it straight. They let me stand in front of the pitcher’s mound. I didn’t want to take on too much at once! It was awesome and the crowd was very supportive and great.
We met the players before the game. We chatted and they asked me some questions. They wanted to know what my schedule was like and what it was like to be in the Olympics. They told me about their schedule and it seems intense to play almost every day mixed in with travel. I liked watching the game and it was a really neat vibe and different. I can’t wait until I get to my next game.
It was a good trip to Phoenix. We had a media day where I got to speak to a group of skaters at a rink and do some TV spots. The kids asked good questions. The first one I was asked was one of the best I heard in a long time. I think the question was what do I feel I contributed to society? I had to think about that one for a moment before I answered!
I’ve got a bus to meet to go to the Metrapark for tonight’s show. My mom and sister are planning to visit in Seattle. In about a week we are planning a day trip to Napa Valley, visit a spa and enjoy a great meal. We’re looking forward to that.
I will post another journal soon and write about finishing up the filming of Moondance Alexander. I had time to talk with some of the stars and will write about new TV shows and my acting plans.
The team that has helped me open my mail and prepare them for me to respond has completed their task and I have mailed all the responses. I wanted to acknowledge everyone who was so kind and thoughtful. Thank you for supporting me. We’ve been answering mail since right after Worlds and I can’t even begin to think how many thousands I received.
I like to share fan mail with you. It’s fun reading about people and how proud they are of their family.
Jennifer Wood sent me a very special letter letting me how much she supported me and my future decisions. What made her letter so special is a paragraph she wrote about her dad. “My dad survived the war in Iraq as a soldier so I applaud Soldiers’ Angels,” Jennifer wrote. Jennifer, I applaud you and I bet your dad is very proud of you and the support you give him.
If anybody else would like to send me their stories on their family members that serve in the military I will be glad to try to post them or at least their names and the service they represent.
Thank you Jennifer for your thoughtful letter.
Moondance Alexander was a great experience
July 12, 2006
I promised to write this journal on the movie I’m making. I’m having so much fun.
The name of the movie is Moondance Alexander. It is an adaptation of the book by the title written by the film’s director. It’s an indie film that is being produced as a family movie about a little girl and her horse. We’ve been filming near Calgary. It’s about an hour from the coast and we film some scenes in a farm town.
Don Johnson is the star of the movie and Lori Loughlin and Kay Panabaker are co-stars.
I came to Calgary after my vacation from Bora Bora.
I play a high school girl and part of the role includes horseback riding. My role is very high schoolish and I wear a lot of miniskirts.
We filmed three scenes in one day. I did a good job remembering my lines. While I was on tour I would practice my lines while traveling or during bus rides to the next city. I would often practice in front of Natasha.
When we filmed sometimes it was with the whole cast. There is some waiting while the director sets up everything for the shoot.
One time I returned to my trailer with my name on the door and when I got inside there were a lot of clothes and about 20 pairs of shoes. I thought, I could get use to this!
I have about five more days to do more filming and it should be wrapped up this month. I’m not sure exactly when the film is being released. I believe it is next spring.
I watch movies differently now. I saw the The Devil Wears Prada and studied how the cast performed their roles. I am a huge fan of Meryl Streep. She is so good. I watched her and the performers with a different point of view. They are all really great.
The first time I get two days off in a row again I’m going to take more acting lessons.
I have already learned a lot just by watching the cast and listening to my acting coach and director. It’s a lot of fun and I’m very excited I have been given this opportunity.
Fun in the sun and celebrating Natasha’s birthday!
July 8, 2006
Thank you for being patient between journals. This is such a busy time for me but it is also a wonderful time in my life.
We just got finished with our COI show in Dallas and I’m trying to get this posted tonight. I just got back from filming in Calgary and will return later to resume filming. And I had an absolutely great vacation in Bora Bora.
Before I forget, I just read a cute card sent by Jaclyn from Westwood, Massachusetts. She wrote a very sweet note and sent me an extra bootlace in case I ever need it. Jaclyn, that was very thoughtful and that brightened my day. And while I’m on the subject of mail. I’ve finally figured a way to respond to the letters and cards sent. My goal is to have all the mail answered by September.
I just looked at my watch so I’ll write about my vacation and other notes. I will post another journal early next week and talk about the movie.
I celebrated Natasha’s 18th birthday last week. We had a lot of fun together. We spent part of the day making cakes and celebrated her birthday that evening.
Did you see Project Runway was nominated for an Emmy in the best reality show category? I had a great time when I was on the show. Congratulations to Heidi and Michael. They deserve the nomination.
The week in Bora Bora was terrific. I had been to Bora Bora last year as part of a cruise. It was a great time for a vacation. It was very relaxing and the islands and beaches were beautiful. I spent a lot of time jetskiing, reading books, snorkeling and swimming among the fishes. The fish were so beautiful. The water was perfect and we had so much fun.
With two weeks off it’s always a little tough to get back on the ice. But I do Pilates and a lot of running. I love moving around and when there’s any downtime I at least get on the treadmill.
I must go but will write in the next few days. I can’t wait to share an update with you about the movie I’m in.
Whew! I’m ready for a fun, relaxing vacation!
June 12, 2006
Hi everybody! There is so much catching up to do and such a short time to do it.
I am taking a break from unpacking and packing again. I have just come home from the tour in Wisconsin this weekend. And I am going on vacation. I am sooo looking forward to the time off.
I have a new commercial on my Web site. Take a look at it and let me know what you think. It’s for Simply Saline, a nasal mist that I use every day. It works well and other skaters also use it. During the commercial I had to skate at one end of the ice because the lights and cameras were located there. The other end was where I would warm up. The commercial was easy and it was a lot of fun to make.
I have also made a Got Milk? commercial. I am truly honored I asked to do that commercial. It may be coming out this month. That was a lot of fun and I will tell you more about that when it comes out and I get back from vacation.
My horseback riding lessons went really well. I learned how to ride English style. I had the same horse for each lesson and we got along real well!
I took a couple of acting lessons and the coach told me I was a natural. I take my lines with me everywhere and study them each day. Sometimes I practice them on the bus with other skaters. When I get back from vacation we will shoot the movie in Canada. I lost my voice one day last week and had to take it easy for a couple of days. But all is well now.
While all this was happening I attended a grand opening of a Wolfgang Puck restaurant at the Beverly Wilshire. I love his cooking and watch him on TV when I get a chance. He was opening a new steak house. He’s an amazing chef.
I was invited to give a speech at Disneyland. I thought it went really well. I might have been just a bit nervous at the start but after I started talking about my life experiences it went smoothly and fast. There was a question and answer session and the questions asked were very good. The speech was for a group of employees who worked at the park in different capacities. I never thought when I was going to Disneyland as a child that I would be asked to give a speech!
I had a new photo shoot done during a break while touring. It was done at a photographer’s house in Santa Monica. I wore so many outfits. They ranged from jeans and a t-shirt to the gown I wore at the White House last month. I was supposed to get them back today but I will look at them when I get back from vacation. I think you will like them when I get a chance to post them.
Wow! I get tired just reading over all the things I have done in the past few weeks.
I do get tired. For example I have arrived at a tour stop at 3 a.m. for that day’s performance. But when I have an off day from tour like this past weekend I just relax and enjoy myself. Saturday I got up and had a casual breakfast and coffee. I lounged in the pool and just sat around to recharge my batteries. In the evening I took a nice long bath and then I had a nice dinner with my friends. That was a very relaxing day.
I am starting to get some mail about horseback riding, acting and the different things I am doing. I will answer as many as I can when I get back from vacation and shooting the movie.
I have looked forward to this vacation for a long time. I will tell you about it when I get back.
‘Idol’ was great, but now who to vote for?
May 24, 2006
Natasha and I went to “American Idol” tonight and now I am in a dilemma.
I went to the show wanting Katharine to do well but I think Taylor did a great job tonight. I don’t know whom to vote for now. I don’t think it’s ethically right for me to vote unless I’m sure whom I favor.
Anyway, I really liked Chris. When I heard him sing I thought, that’s it, no question he’s going to win. I was disappointed when he was voted off two weeks ago.
I thought Katharine was good but not great tonight. I still love her voice and she has that star image.
Taylor did great. It’s a tough choice.
There were a lot of stars at the Kodak Theater, where the show was held tonight. Stars from Sex and the City and all the previous Idol contestants were there.
Natasha and I had a great time. We’ll probably watch the final show Wednesday night.
During commercials and breaks a guy would pump up the crowd.
I wore Jean Capris and a black top with metal sequins.
Afterwards we did a little shopping. I bought some earrings and sunglasses. Then we had a nice dinner together.
I had my first riding session on a white English-bred horse today. It was fun. I learned how to post the horse. I asked the instructor the horse’s size and he said it was a medium-sized horse. I have another lesson on Thursday.
It was a pretty good day.
I’m going to ‘Idol’ Tuesday and will be in a movie!
May 23, 2006
I’m going to be in a movie. I’m very excited. And Tuesday I’ve been invited to “American Idol”.
It sure feels good to be home, though. I arrived at 1 a.m. Monday morning.
The Tour has a little break but I will be very busy.
I will see the final competition of “American Idol” Tuesday. I went once before and they asked if I would like to come back.
I haven’t been home long enough to think what to wear Tuesday, yet!
I’d like to see Katharine win. I think she’s ready.
The show will be at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.
Today I just got unpacked, took a nice bike ride, ate some sushi, caught up with some of my mail and am doing laundry.
I’m still going to be pretty busy. It’s been tiring and fun. I’m very thankful to have these opportunities. Shannon, from my agency, has been great keeping everything in order.
I’m really looking forward to my first movie. I don’t want to mention the name of it yet because it’s too early, but I’m going to have to learn how to ride a horse. I’m getting my first lesson Tuesday. I have ridden horses before but they have been the kind you ride at fairs and carnivals with someone next to you. When we vacationed in Sun Valley we would ride horses along a trail.
I am also going to be taking some acting lessons. I will be setting that up very soon.
I’m giving a private speech in Disneyland next month I must write this week and I’m doing a photo shoot in the next couple of weeks.
It’s been crazy so far since I’ve been on Tour. On days off I’ve been flying to places to promote my book, other promotions and events and even spent some time in New York filming a commercial.
I have had a couple of days to shop and have tried to make some time to be with my friends.
The shows have been fun. The crowds have been good and very supportive. The fans have been great and it’s fun to see the many different signs.
I will write about my experience at “American Idol” as soon as I get a chance.
Here’s some tips on sending mail or e-mail
May 22, 2006
I enjoy getting fan mail and e-mail but want to pass along some hints how to send your mail and some dos and don’ts.
I’m concentrating on answering the mail and I’m starting to see some things I want to caution you about.
Please don’t include your phone number or parents’ phone numbers – home or work. That is dangerous and my mail is handled several times before it gets to me. If a piece is lost en route to me I don’t want information to get into the wrong hands.
And please don’t send money. If you want photos or return correspondence I would rather you send a self-addressed stamped envelope. I will do the best I can to fulfill your request.
I will recognize students writing with their teacher’s name and city and state/country but will not mention the school unless specifically permitted by the teacher.
My Web site gives the address that is best to send fan mail. I will get it faster if you send it there.
Many e-mails are sent during competitions, afterwards or throughout the year while I am touring. Some are in response to my journals. In the past, many fans asked that I post their e-mail on my Web site. I will continue to do so unless specifically requested.
I regret there are many requests I can’t fulfill because of my schedule and prior commitments. I am very humbled with your requests and try to answer them promptly.
A special thanks to all of you who have supported me. I carry your thoughts and good wishes with me on the ice.
I’m looking forward to the future and continued fun interacting with you.
White House visit was great; on to NYC
May 17, 2006
The past week has been extremely busy. This will be short because I just got back to Columbia, South Carolina in time to stretch and perform with COI tonight. In fact, I dictated this journal entry because immediately after the show we are traveling to Atlanta, arriving about 1:30 a.m.! Yawn!
This morning the USA Olympic team visited the White House. It was great! It was so nice to see friends and teammates again. We were standing behind President Bush as he gave a speech. We had been eating food at the arenas while on tour and we were excited to have a prepared lunch. It was like, real food!
After lunch I caught a flight to Columbia. Thursday begins two days off from Tour and I am flying to New York to do a commercial. More on that later. I arrive back in Atlanta Friday night and will get a little rest before our matinee performance in Atlanta. Right after that we ride to Nashville for another matinee performance Sunday.
I don’t mind staying busy while I’m away from home. Gotta run and get ready for opening number. Will write again after mid-break from Tour on Monday.
PS: The crowd was great in Columbia tonight. Hope to see a lot of you in Atlanta Saturday.
What was Josh Duhamel like? Well read on…
May 12, 2006
I have been having a ball touring with Champions On Ice. The crowds have been amazing in their support.
I’ve had only one day off to myself since the Tour began.
I got a chance to attend American Idol and watch the contestants perform live. The judges were definitely tough on some of the performers.
I was invited to Planet Hollywood in New York and was going to donate a dress. That was postponed and hasn’t been rescheduled.
After Saturday’s show in Charlotte and Sunday in Roanoke I will join my Olympic teammates in Washington and we will visit the White House.
Then next week after the Atlanta show I’m going to New York on business between show stops.
The one thing that has been hard is being away from home a lot. Most of the days are taken up with traveling, sleeping, practicing and performing. After some shows I hit the gym or go swimming. Some of us will go out together and go shopping when we have some time during the days. We usually ask the concierge to recommend restaurants.
The matinee shows are usually days we are rushed the most. We have to be at the arena hours in advance. That may follow a show the night before or we may be traveling to the next city after the matinee.
Most of your emails about my appearance on Vegas were asking what I thought of Josh Duhamel. He’s really, really sweet. I got to talk with him and really enjoyed appearing on Vegas. We were skating the night the show was on and I ran to see the episode on TV. I made it by 30 seconds! It was fun to watch on TV. A lot of the cast members watched with me. Some said ‘Oh, you’re so cute! I’m looking forward to doing some more acting.
I have a big announcement on TV Saturday;
1 day left to bid for my credential on eBay
April 14, 2006
I owe it to my fans to let you know first that I am announcing Saturday I plan on competing into the 2010 season and the Vancouver Olympics. You can catch my interview with Peter Carruthers Saturday when the Marshalls Showcase is televised on ABC.
Peter asked me what my skating plans were and I said it includes skating into the 2010 season. I will decide after the COI Tour how much skating and what events I will do next season. Right now I am going to enjoy being on tour, seeing fans who have supported me through two Olympics and visiting friends.
I am beginning to auction some of my skating credentials through my career on eBay. My 2004 National Championship credential in Atlanta is up for bid now. We are closing the bid at midnight Saturday. I will be giving all proceeds to charity. I hope you bid and win. It’s for a good cause. I will announce the winning bidders in my journals.
I forwarded some pictures to my Web master to post of me on the set of Vegas. That was a lot of fun and I will post a journal on that soon. Send in your questions about my appearance on the show and I will answer them.
This has been a very busy week and it will get busier this weekend with four shows in three days.
Monday I had a great time at the Figure Skating of Harlem Gala in NYC. There were a lot of celebrities there and the event is getting bigger each year. We took a chartered flight from NYC to Greenville, South Carolina for the next day’s Marshall Showcase. It wasn’t too glamorous! It was a propeller plane with no bathroom! We left at midnight and we got into Greenville at 2 a.m. and checked into the hotel a short time later. We had to be at the arena for a 2 p.m. rehearsal for the opening and closing part of the show.
While I was in New York I did some interviews and talked with a reporter from People magazine. We talked about the Oscar parties and how I won the trip to Bora Bora at one of the Oscar gift suites.
During the COI Tour there’s an opportunity to sign autographs at the end of the show in the Greet and Meet line. I hope to see a lot of you after the shows. Last Tuesday night at Marshalls, there were fans waiting outside the gates where the bus was parked but I saw a man holding a sign with my name on it and had a chance to sign a few autographs and have some pictures taken before we left. I will do my best to get to as many as time permits.
Got to go. Two shows Saturday, one Easter Sunday afternoon and another Monday at Reading, Pennsylvania. Then I have a three-day break! Yea!
I will be on ‘Vegas’; I have a new dress for a new program
April 5, 2006
I have been very busy since Worlds. Things just don’t stop. But I am having a lot of fun.
Today I filmed an episode of “Vegas” starring Josh Dulhamel. I played myself. The episode is scheduled to air May 5.
I am leaving in a couple of hours for a red-eye to Florida to begin practice for the Champions On Ice Tour. Our first show is Friday in Ft. Myers.
I have posted pictures with Josh and Jerry O’Connell on the set and posed. I hope you enjoy them.
I went to Cozumel, Mexico for a short vacation the day after the Worlds exhibition. I didn’t do anything but sit in the lounge and get a tan. My mother and Natasha went with me.
It has been a very busy several days.
To answer many of your e-mails at once, yes, I am going to have a new exhibition program and a new dress for the COI Tour. I will be skating to Celine Dion’s “God Bless America”. I loved the music for a long time and thought, why not skate to it.
I just got done designing and having the final fitting for my exhibition dress. It will be red and white with a halter top. It will be heavily beaded and sparkly.
I hope to see a lot of you while on tour. Your support this year has been incredible.
Gordana from Croatia wrote to tell me about her 99-year-old grandmother watching me skate. Gordana, tell your grandmother thank you! I can tell she is very special to you.
The past weekend some of my friends got together for a “girls night out”. It was the first time we got together since some of us turned 21. We sat around, sipped martinis and had a great time.
Evan and I appeared on Nickelodeon last Saturday.
The next day I put together my exhibition program.
On Monday I did some last-minute errands, worked out, met my mom for some sushi and started packing. I will probably have three suitcases since I will be away for a month before the first big break on tour!
Today, Mom just booked a vacation for us this summer for Bora Bora.
I plan on getting to relax a little bit while on tour.
On Monday I will be in NYC for “Skating with the Stars, Under the Stars”, a gala for Figure Skating in Harlem. It is a great program for girls who live in Harlem among low-income families and the girls are between 6 and 16. They must perform well in school to skate and can receive tuition. The program is very successful and I’m honored they have asked me to participate. A lot of my friends who participated in the Olympics will also be there.
On Tuesday I will be in Greenville, South Carolina to participate in the Marshall’s International Showcase.
We will skate two programs and it will be taped for television. I plan on performing my new exhibition program.
I like these pro-ams because TV allows us to reach a wider audience. It’s also nice to be able to be carefree and lighthearted and perform to the audience.
Then I leave the next day to rejoin the tour. I will work to keep in shape and enjoy friends around the country.
It’s onto Worlds for final competition of season
March 17, 2006
Things have been extremely busy since the Olympics. I can see the difference winning the silver medal makes on my life. I am recognized more and people pay attention more to what I am doing.
My new book, updated with Nationals and Olympics stories, comes out March 28. You can pre-order on my Web site. I will have exclusive stories about the competitions in my book that haven’t been reported anywhere. I think you will like it.
I declined a lot of appearances this past week to train and focus for Worlds.
During Olympic years there is always a letdown after such a big competition. That’s because it’s every four years and everybody trains so hard for the Winter Games.
I am going to have a media conference Friday so most of the questions can be answered at one time. Most of my free time has been has been doing things for fans and promotions.
I am trying to get to your mail as quickly as I can. You have been very supportive. I haven’t had time to answer questions but will do that while on Tour.
I’m looking forward to Worlds. Anytime I get to a competition I want to do well and skate my best. After Worlds I get just a few days off and then I join the Champions On Ice Tour in Florida.
I think I get my first break in August! That’s when I will get some rest.
My practices have been going well. I’ve had good run-throughs and am getting into competitive shape.
I will leave this weekend for Worlds. I haven’t decided what dress to wear for my qualifying program. I will do that later this weekend.
Thank you for your patience, your great questions and wonderful e-mail. You’re the best fans anyone could have.
I look forward to seeing a lot of you this spring and summer during the COI Tour.
The parties are over! It’s time to get back to work
March 5, 2006
I have had a fun week and, in its own way, a busy week.
I had a lot of fun on the Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres, Regis and Kelly and the Jimmy Kimmel shows.
They were all different and they all had their particularly funny moments. Kelly was funny with some of her comments. I enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel’s show and also cooking with Jamie Oliver, “The Naked Chef”.
I went to two pre-Oscar parties. One was at the L.A. Confidential Magazine soiree in the Meridian Hotel’s SKY BAR. And Vanity Fair held its AMPED FOR AFRICA Benefit for Oprah’s Angel Network
I also went on the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.
I loved getting dressed up for all the parties and meeting all the stars. I love parties and pretty dresses!
There’s a link on my home page that will take you to pictures of me with some of the stars and guests I met. I don’t want to leave any body’s name out so I won’t try to name everybody.
There was an interesting meeting with actress of Brittany Murphy. I was telling her how happy it was to meet her and she was telling me she wanted to meet me! That was very nice of her.
Speaking of names! Thank you to all of you who have written letters and e-mails. I have read a lot of the e-mails, although there are way too many to answer right now. I’ve asked my Web master to put as many e-mails I’ve sent as the page can hold. I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails with schools doing projects during the Olympics. I hope most of the information was available on my Web site. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to respond to them. It was overwhelming and if I had time to answer one I would want to answer them all.
This is an exciting time for me.
My new book that includes the 2006 National Championships and the Torino Olympics comes out Wednesday. You can look for it on my home page. You will find some personal stories that haven’t been shared with anyone or the media. This will be exclusive for people who buy the book.
I get back to work Monday and getting back into top condition for Worlds.
I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice and in the gym and also to competing. I love competitions.
Wow! I can’t believe all the e-mail and mail. You’re the best!
March 1, 2006
It’s great to be back home and I couldn’t wait to write you to tell you how much I appreciated all your support. I have only had time to glance at some of the e-mail, and the way it looks, it’s going to take the entire Champions On Ice Tour to read them all!
I did read about some projects children did on me during the Olympics. I do feel bad I couldn’t get them answered in time. One I read about was McKenzie from Pocatello, Idaho. McKenzie asked some good questions. What I didn’t know, until McKenzie told me, was her dad worked as a paramedic at the Salt Lake City Games and remembered me. It’s probably too late McKenzie but here are quick answers: 1) I am 5-2. 2) I love doing spirals. 3) I love figure skating and competing. 4) I am living my life dream. McKenzie, I hope I didn’t cause you from getting a great grade.
I was extremely touched by the people in the Armed Services who took time out to write. Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJC) Edward O. Hood’s comments were inspiring to me. I wanted to create a separate page for the military because I am very proud of the job they do to ensure our safety. I felt very safe at the Olympics and part of it was because of the Italian security and the other was my faith in our military and civilian forces that were there to guard us. Thank you for helping keep us safe.
I am on my way to the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight and tomorrow I am on Live with Regis and Kelly. I will write over the weekend about the shows and what I did. I also went to some cool parties and I have some pictures up already.
Everything didn’t go exactly how I wanted at the Olympics. I am proud of the silver medal and I found out a little more about myself during my competition.
I will write again the next couple of days and tell you some fun things I’ve done since I’ve come home.
Can you believe I left Italy at 6 a.m. Monday morning and got home at 11 p.m.?
I am getting a lot of media requests, parties and, of course, having some fun this week.
But beginning Monday it is back to training and preparing for the World Championships.
Thank you for all the support. It meant a lot to me.
Did you see me wave to you and say “Hi Everyone!” in the “Kiss and Cry”. It was the best way I knew to make sure I didn’t miss anyone.
I will write again by the weekend.
Thanks for your support. I will update you when I return.
February 8, 2006
This will be my final journal until I return from the Olympics.
Did you see our Web site, www.sashacohen.com, was ranked No. 1 among the American Olympic athletes by the West Palm Beach Post newspaper? And Jeremy Bloom, my friend, is second! Thank you for helping make our Web site successful. It’s not possible without your support.
I have answered a lot of your questions and they will be posted everyday. Your questions were terrific and it brought back some great and funny memories. I’m sure there will be many more I will share with you after the Olympics.
My good friend Timmy will be posting a behind the scenes look at the Olympics every day. It will mostly coincide with what we experienced at the Salt Lake City Games. Timmy had a great Olympics and won the Bronze medal. I think you will like his stories. I don’t think you’ve read any of them. Go to www.timothygoebel.com and click on his Olympic Experience page to read his daily entries. He is very descriptive and some of his stories are funny. I think you will enjoy seeing a different side of Timmy.
I have a new dress for the free skate that I have told my Web master to post the details the morning of the event. Donna Goll from Elizabeth City, N.C., came up with an excellent question.
I have about 20 family members and friends that will see me skate. I will elaborate more with my answers to questions from Karen from Conklin, New York and Shere from Kentucky.
We’ve finessed the programs to raise the levels of components. The run throughs have been good and I feel good – 100 percent better than when I arrived at Nationals!
I’ve got to go and continue finish packing.
Thanks for your support and sending me off with some positive thoughts.
Odds and ends as I get ready to leave for Olympics
February 4, 2006
Wasn’t Mark and Karen Allan’s baby, Sasha, cute? I still can’t believe they named their daughter after me! It’s humbling and makes me understand people look at me as a role model. That’s OK with me. I want to encourage young people that with hard work and perseverance they can achieve their goals.
I have gotten a lot of Olympic questions and they will be posted during the Olympics. I’ve also contributed to the NBCOlympic site. You’re questions are fantastic!
I am now totally concentrating on my skating. I am focused and my practices are going well. There are no distractions and all media requests have been delayed until the required press conferences at Turin. Most of the interviews were done at the Olympic Summit and the rest completed at Nationals or right after.
I’ve been asked if I read everything that’s written about me. I don’t.
I do watch the shows I’m on. They’re fun!
I want to give a shout out to some special fans. PFC Wade McKeeby and SPC Stephen Jackson are both in the Army and serving in Iraq. I got very nice e-mails from them. Reading their messages certainly puts the Olympics in perspective to what our military is doing overseas. There are still opportunities to adopt a soldier and send notes and items from home our military can’t get overseas. It is a very rewarding experience.
I have had detailed discussions with my Web master how I would like him to keep you updated during the Olympics. Athletes are restricted in some Web site and media activities but I think you will be surprised what I have planned. We’re trying to keep you up to date every day I’m in Italy. There are areas in the village or at venues in the Olympics that have Internet available. I can access my mail site and hope to have time to read your mail.
My good friend Timothy Goebel will also be part of our special Olympic package we have planned for you. More on that later this week.
A special thanks goes to all my fans that have registered on my official Web site or have visited.
We’ve gotten some good news that the Web site is among the best in all of sports. Magazines and national media have mentioned it in some reports. I congratulate you for your participation and ideas we have incorporated in the past.
I am hoping to write another journal before the Games begin.
Thanks for your support and I look forward to “signaling” my fans on TV at the Olympics!
Project Runway, Jay Leno shows were fun
January 25, 2006
I’m going to fill you in on last Wednesday’s great day, appearing on the Jay Leno Show and watching Project Runway.
I don’t like to use this forum as a tease but I read the most remarkable e-mail I think I have ever received, or remember receiving. I have asked members of my Web team to check out its authenticity. If it is true, I will have a very special post this weekend. It overwhelmed me and humbled me at the same time!
OK, for the real reason I wanted to post tonight was to tell you about my night with Jay Leno and my appearance on Project Runway.
A stretch limo was sent to our home to drive my mother, Natasha and me to the studio. When we got to the NBC studio I thought the studio was small and intimate, compared to how it looks big on TV. I was given a separate dressing room and there were snacks, drinks and coffee for us.
I was relaxed when Mr. Leno walked in and we chatted a little bit and he prepped me on some possible questions.
When they called me to come on stage, I was just a little nervous but not much. After skating by yourself on ice in front of thousands of people there isn’t much to get nervous about!
After the show Mr. Leno wrote me a nice card.
The show was fun. I like talking in front of a live audience and in front of cameras.
Project Runway was a lot of fun, too. When we sign on to do reality shows there are confidentiality contracts we must sign. That means we can’t say anything until after the show we’re in airs. It was neat to meet Heidi. It was fun to get inside the window of TV and fashion. Those are two areas I want to pursue when I’m done skating.
The white dress I picked to skate in is being altered and having some adjustments done. I will skate in it in an exhibition.
I liked some of the dresses but there were some that just didn’t work to skate in.
I have been back on the ice for a while. I am training and getting my stamina back. There are some distractions with media requests but most of that was gotten out of the way before Nationals. Overall, it’s nice to get back on the ice and work hard after being sick for over a week and at Nationals.
I’m looking forward to the Olympics and being healthy and in excellent shape. We’re done planning when we will arrive in Torino and we’ve bought our tickets.
There has been more e-mail and mail than I’ve ever gotten after a competition. I appreciate all the support. And to those that keep asking… yes, I think winning the U.S. National gold medal means more to me now!
I’ve gotten so many questions about the Olympics. The reason I’ve asked for questions is because the International Olympic Committee doesn’t permit diaries or journals to be posted by participating athletes during the Games. But there can be a question and answer format. I will post some each day and, when possible, have a question and answer format.
You are champions, too! I will answer Olympic questions personally
January 21, 2006
I don’t know if you like these quick, short entries. But I’m trying to keep you up to date as much as possible.
I will give a longer entry about my visit on Project Runway and being on the Jay Leno Show in the next couple of days. Wednesday night was a very exciting night. But more on that later.
I have received so many e-mails and questions about skating. So I would like to invite you to send me your questions about the Olympics only. I will answer them, send them to my Web master and ask him to post some every day of the Olympics.
You can ask about the past Olympics or the Turin Olympics. Or you can ask a question about each. Please remember to put at least your first name and city and state or country where you are from. I like to see where the e-mails are coming from and want to recognize your support.
I will answer each one personally, by name, for those who put your name on the questions.
Please try to send them no later than Tuesday to my Web master at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will read them, answer as many as possible and begin posting them the day before the opening ceremonies.
If you want to make a class project, as some of you have done before, send them all at once. I will give a shout out to your teacher and school and hometown. And I will list every name of your class if they are provided. Please remember to spell them correctly!
Your support has been very special to me through the years. I wish I could thank each of you personally. I am beginning to recognize many of the names that have sent me e-mails and snail mail.
I think you will like my Web site during the Olympics and leading up to it. I’ve done some research and will post some interesting facts about the Games.
I have begun training full speed again but am devoting part of each day to my Web site.
I look forward to your questions and will do my best to get as many answered as possible.
Winning the gold medal at the U.S. Championships has always been a goal and dream of mine. I haven’t reached all my goals, yet.
You’re the best fans I could ever hope to have. Thank you for your encouragement all these years.
You all are champions, too!
Gold is my favorite color!
January 19, 2006
Hi everybody. I am just getting settled after a hectic two weeks.
The question I am asked most lately is what does it feel like to win the national championship? It feels great!
I am real excited that my name will be on the U.S. Trophy as the 2006 U.S. National Champion.
This year we got a beautiful glass trophy for winning the national championship. In the past they gave out silver. The trophy is heavy.
I got a beautiful Radix skating pin. The champion’s pin has a diamond. The other medalists get pins without the diamond. I love that pin. It’s a miniature replica of a skate blade and is made of gold with the diamond. They are handmade by a company in Colorado Springs.
The gold medal is my favorite color!
On tour and shows I will now be announced as “United States National Champion”, not four-time silver medalist! It has a better ring to it! It is very rewarding after all the hard work I have put in through my career.
It felt so good to skate well after being sick. I think it means so much more to me to have had to work that much harder and go through the difficult week.
The only thing I did when I got to St. Louis was skate, eat and stay in bed. I was totally wiped out and run down.
I believe all the training and conditioning I did over the summer and leading up to Nationals helped me get through my programs.
The crowd was great and every body was so supportive. It’s a great feeling to see the crowd standing and cheering for you.
When I saw my mom she said congrats and told me how proud she was of me. At that point there’s no words that can be said.
Mr. Nicks told me he was very proud of me. I am very happy that I got the opportunity to share the national championship with him. We have known each for a long time and he knew me when I was so young.
I have to run some errands but will post another journal this weekend.
Thank you for all the wonderful e-mails and letters of support. I’m going to announce something special this weekend and hope to hear from a lot of you.
I have one goal at Nationals: Skate my best
January 5, 2006
This is the time of year the competitions mean the most. I’m ready for Nationals and looking forward to skating my best.
I’ve had a lot of second place finishes at Nationals. I think it goes back to my preparation. I never felt I was as prepared as I should be and that’s been my emphasis on training. I don’t think I have ever skated my best at Nationals and that is something I really want to do this year.
I don’t consider anything, like being a favorite, or taking anything for granted at Nationals. I won a lot of silvers and I want a gold. I am just trying to be prepared absolutely the best I can.
I’ve put my short out there and my long twice. I got the feedback I needed and I am very comfortable with my skating.
Dave Wilson, my choreographer, has been great. When I last visited him he was trying to get a story or a theme to my program. I really like what he did.
The first third of my free skate is new. The music is different and it creates suspense. I think it makes the overall program more interesting.
Last week I participated in a press conference and there were a lot of questions about my skating, programs, competitions, Nationals and Olympics.
I told the media that I hope the next few months will work out by making it to the Olympics. It will take a lot of hard work.
I have been reading and rereading the new rules, flying to different places to get my programs looked at and giving it my all. I hope everything will work out for the best.
The field is really hard to judge because everyone is bringing their best to the competition.
I am skating in my gold dress at Nationals. It’s been a work in progress and I’m adding more beads. I will keep the costume through the Olympics. I’ll get a new dress for the short at some point.
I don’t feel additional pressure. I still feel like I have something to prove. The pressure is almost every day at home. If I’m not feeling well I still must get out and practice and work harder. I must get everything I can out of practice every day.
I hope to see you in St. Louis. Thanks for the supportive e-mail.
Happy New Year! Practice for Nationals is going well
January 2, 2006
Happy New Year everyone! I wish you, your families and friends good health this year.
This is my first journal of 2006!
I didn’t do anything that was exciting over the holidays. I spent Christmas with my family and friends. On New Year’s Eve I went to dinner with some friends and watched the ball drop. Then I went to bed.
Today I had a teleconference call with media from all over the country. It’s good to have about 20-30 minutes set aside one day before we get to Nationals so we can answer the media questions. When I get to competitions I like to concentrate on my skating.
I was asked how I would describe myself. I answered by saying my strengths are some of the unique things I do. I love what I do and am always eager to learn more. I am never satisfied where I am.
My weaknesses, I think, have been lack of preparation, knowledge and confidence. I always try to be perfect. I am learning to stop worrying about being perfect and not be afraid of making mistakes. I am no longer going to let the fear of making mistakes hold me back in practice or competitions.
When I returned from France I evaluated myself and decided I needed to become faster, more powerful and improve my execution. I worked on my individual elements and improved my stamina so I wouldn’t get tired late into the program.
I am very focused on my priorities this year. I want to do well at Nationals and I am training hard to make the Olympic team.
I am pushing myself to a new level of training. Physically I am stronger and feeling real good. My training is helping me build up my strength. Iam also doing a lot of stretching to keep my body flexible and in good shape.
This season I am doing a lot more with my practices on ice. I am practicing sections of the program every day. I am working on my jumps and transitions and trying to get everything consistent.
Thank you for your e-mails during the holidays. Your support is important to me. I hope I get to see a lot of you in St. Louis.
I’m very pleased with my skating and staying focused
Dcember 13, 2005
So many good things have been happening to me lately. And one of the most important is the support all of you have given me, especially from the Sunday skating competition.
I enjoyed working with the CosmoGirl staff. That issue is out this month. I’m in the Body and Soul section.
I found out that I am on the cover of the 2006 World Almanac. That is so exciting. I have no idea how that is selected. I learned I am the number six. I would have never imagined that would happen to me. I am also on a page in the World Kids Almanac.
Plus my book is on sale for the holidays.
I take all this in stride. I don’t believe in a person being a star. I just think it is a reflection of my personality and showing how much fun I like to have.
I loved the Marshalls Challenge format and was really pleased with my skating. The format was different than what I’ve done in the past.
The elements were easier with shorter programs. I liked entertaining on the ice.
When Kurt was introducing me I just grabbed the microphone because I like having fun. It’s my way of having a good time and saying this is who I am and I enjoy skating in front of you.
It was so nice to hear Peggy, Peter and Dick talk about my skating. It’s always encouraging to hear people say nice things about your skating.
I was so happy with my event and my skating.
I have been working with David Wilson in Toronto on some choreography.
I really admire him. We got together when I called to see if he would be interested in working together. When we talked on the phone we got along well so we agreed to meet and work on my programs.
We have changed a little bit of the music with the long. We’re just pushing the program to the next level.
The day before Marshalls there was a snowstorm in Boston. It snowed so hard our hotel windows were pure white and we couldn’t see out of them. By the time we were ready to leave town it had stopped and we didn’t have any problems.
I’m going to continue working hard the rest of this month into Nationals.
I am focused on my goals.
I love Paris and look forward to competing
November 11, 2005
I absolutely adore Paris. I am so excited to be back. I have performed really well there in the past.
I have competed and visited France several times and I am very familiar with the culture. I enjoy the city and am leaving a couple of days early to take in the culture and prepare for the competition.
Natasha is going with me. She is excited and I’m looking forward to spending some time with her. We haven’t had much of a chance to do some things since we vacationed in Sun Valley.
Natasha will spend the weekend before the competition with me. She’s usually not there during competitions. When I compete I like that time to be my own.
I am feeling good with my training. I’ve been at full speed for a while. I only had a fall and just needed some time to recover. I had a bad cold for a couple of weeks but I still trained. It was more annoying than anything else.
I’ve made some adjustments to my program and I feel I am at a good place There are some transitions that have been made with my elements.
We’ve been studying the code of points and trying to see where we can gain a point here and a point there. The system was changed some again this year. We’ve been going through a lot of trial and error. For example we made some adjustments from the camels.
I have some elements that go to Level 4. It’s hard to constantly practice the footwork and spins. It takes a lot of focus.
The physical part of performing the new spins and footwork takes a lot of wear and tear on the body. But I think it’s good for skating to diversify itself and to make it more difficult than just jumping.
Jumping is difficult when you do a lot. All the different positions required in spins also are challenging to the body.
People think that jumping causes a lot of injuries, but spins are very hard to master because of the different positions required. I have four positions on my layback. That’s a lot of stress on the body!
I am able to add points with my spins but it definitely takes a lot of work to get from Level 2 to Level 4 for additional points.
I’ve completed my first set of culinary classes. It was nice to take a couple of weekends and do something I enjoy. It’s good to let skating at the rink and do other things. I hope to take another set of classes when I get back from Paris.
Your e-mails cheered me up on my birthday
November 7, 2005
Thank you for the birthday e-mails and e-cards you sent me. I had plenty of time to read them!
Unfortunately I was not feeling well on my birthday.
I had just gotten healthy from my injury and then I got a cold. It’s taken about two weeks to get over it. I’m feeling better now.
I still practiced during the past two weeks and got in a good practice on my birthday.
Mom baked me a soufflé for breakfast and she brought a cake to the rink with candles on it. That was fun. I had my birthday dinner out with my family. We went out for sushi – I love sushi.
I went to bed early that night. I am so into training that it didn’t bother me. I’m OK. I’m still focused on my year.
I wasn’t disappointed, because skaters don’t have much time off.
I’ve been able to do a little shopping but I’m getting ready for Paris and the next competition.
Harper Collins is promoting my book for the holidays and I hope those who haven’t gotten a copy yet will consider reading it.
It’s a good chance to get to know me with inspirational stories and some fun stories of me growing up. It shows perseverance and it’s a good read for young girls and skating fans.
I enjoyed writing it and doing the promotions and book signings over the summer.
I hope we can do more.
I will write before I leave for Paris.
You made my birthday brighter with your support.
You’re the best!
I like coaches miked; we just have to behave
October 22, 2005
There have been some good questions from my Campbell’s competition.
I have been asked how I feel to have our coaches miked during competitions.
I think it is good for ratings and it is good for the audience to understand what is going on.
But you have to watch what you say and do.
I remember Mr. Nicks saying to make sure I didn’t drink much water before I was introduced for my program. I took a couple of swallows of water and just wanted to rinse my mouth out.
There wasn’t any place to put the water so I spit it out! We’ve got to remember that we may always be on camera.
We have to be “on” all the way to the locker room. We just have to remember the camera is there and we have to behave ourselves!
After winning I was presented an over-sized check, as big as me, with the winning prize.
I’m like everybody else that earns money. I have to pay taxes on the winnings, percentages to my agent and coaches. I am on my own so I have to make a house payment, a car payment, buy groceries, pay gas and other things. I save most of what is left.
Figure skaters only have 6-7 years, on an average, to earn money in our sport. That’s a short amount of time. That doesn’t count all the money spent training to reach our level of competition.
We have to balance how many shows we skate versus the amount of time we train. Sometimes we have to sacrifice the money for the opportunity to be home and train. In skating there are no days off and we don’t have holidays. We’re always training.
Culinary classes are fun. I will probably take a second set of classes. The last class we had, last Sunday, it was a terrific experience. The teacher is personable. After class some of us went out to eat and had a great time.
I am big into gourmet. I like preparing food at home but I don’t think I would want to be a chef and have to be in the kitchen preparing food all day.
Day after Campbell’s was 24 hours of insanity
October 20, 2005
Photo by Lisa Herdman
The day after the Campbell’s competition we flew to Colorado Springs to attend an Olympic media Summit.
It is a very grueling time. Media from all over the world are interviewing us on camera and among the writers in anticipation of the Olympics.
I had a great time. It was short but I was absolutely exhausted when I got home.
I was in a photo shoot with Sports Illustrated until about 11 p.m. on Sunday night. Afterwards I had to walk through a snowstorm to get to my hotel.
The morning of the Summit I did about three to four photo shoots and about 50-60 interviews. It was 24 hours of insanity.
I liked it when I was asked questions what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to do after I was done skating. It’s refreshing to talk about that more than the typical questions like ‘how do you feel coming into the season?’
Some questions were about the code of points. That’s a very complicated thing to explain.
I have been doing several photo shoots with magazines and training. It’s fun to get out of the rink and do some different things. But my focus this season is on skating.
I have to keep the big picture in focus
October 18, 2005
I’m sure you’ve read my news page about my injury.
It’s frustrating to have to withdraw from Skate America but I have to keep my eye on the bigger picture.
It was hard to pull out of the competition. Mr. Nicks and I decided together that it just didn’t make sense to skate this weekend.
You get wiser as you get older. I’ve become more patient and understand the bigger picture of an entire season. Skipping Skate America will just be a blip on my career when I look back.
This week I will be recovering and working on little things that have been critiqued. I still think my program can be more interesting.
I was happy with the points total from Campbell’s and know it could have been better, especially since some things weren’t counted by the judges. I was told the timing of my jumps was off because of the steps entering them.
It’s great to skate well so early in the season. I’m always a little nervous going into the first competition. I trained hard over the summer and I felt reassured that I skated so well at Campbell’s.
I taped the program and have watched it. I find it helpful to watch my competitions. It’s also good to see the new skaters and what they are doing.
When I turn on the TV this week and hear and see the skaters I will wish I was there with them competing. But right now I am putting all my energy into training.
I’ll get a good idea of judging this weekend
October 5, 2005
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s competition.
Training has gone well and I feel good. Like I mentioned in my last journal, this is the best I’ve felt and best prepared I’ve been in a couple of years. I’m also very focused on training and this year’s competitions.
I’m going into Campbell’s to see how my program is judged. The judges will use the code of points. We’ll have international judges and it will be good to see how judges outside the U.S. give marks.
It will give me a good idea how to get more points out of my program. The pattern is set.
I’ve worked hard on my elements this summer. Now we’re going to see how everything fits together in front of a crowd. It’s always different when we skate in front of crowds compared to doing our programs in our ice rink.
I’m not sure if my dress will be ready. That will be a decision we will make nearer the competition.
I’ve been doing some media interviews. Some have been setting up for the Nationals and Olympics. Some footage has also been taken and some of it will be used for the Nationals.
I did an interview with COSMOgirl. That was fun. It was the first time I’ve been interviewed by that magazine. It will be in the December/January issue but that issue begins its sales on November 22. They told me I’m going to be in the Body and Soul column.
There will be a lot more media interviews but I will deal with them as they come. With this being the Olympic year, there’s a lot more interest in our sport. I get asked all kinds of questions. Some media want to know my exact workout shedule, minute by minute
I’ve signed up for cooking classes!
September. 29, 2005
I’ve got my first competition next week and this is the best I’ve felt since before the 2003 season at the Pro-Am.
My skating has gone well. I’m happy with my programs and my dresses are done and are now being beaded.
I am very relaxed and comfortable. I will discuss in midweek what I hope to accomplish at Campbell’s next weekend. I’m looking forward to competition again and have worked hard over the summer.
The past month I have been fine-tuning the programs. I am trying to get all the distractions out of the way so all I have to do is concentrate on my skating this season. I’m mostly staying around home and finding fun things to do here.
I just signed up for a series of three cooking classes at the Laguna Culinary Arts school. It’s a basic skills program that teaches knife skills, safety and some terminology. It teaches how to prepare vegetables by steaming and grilling.
The second class will teach the selection, trimming and identifying meat and creating sauces that work with them. The last class is about learning to work with different temperatures and cooking times.
It’s going to be fun and it’s something I’ve wanted to do. We’ll see how this goes and maybe take some more classes when I have some free time. I have some free time for the moment and will enjoy the lessons.
It will be fun to keep learning about cooking and preparation. The more I learn the more I can help around the house and prepare food. I’ve always enjoyed watching food prepared at restaurants and visiting culinary schools.
I’ve been enjoying shopping for the house. We’re making progress. I like to take my time and do a lot of shopping before deciding what to buy.
Right now I’m choosing cabinets for the bathroom. I’ve finally got a rug for the dinning room.
The bedroom is painted. It’s a beige-peach type color. I didn’t paint it but I did paint the sample on the wall! The color goes great with all the furniture. We are going to get the great room painted, too. It’s a little dark and I want it a little lighter and happier.
I have always loved “Romeo and Juliet”
August 25, 2005
I am extremely excited with my music selection this year for my free skate program.
The selection is “Romeo and Juliet” from the 1968 film version. It’s deep and emotional music, and I think it is perfect for me for the coming Olympic
Since the first time I heard “Romeo and Juliet”, I have always been in love with it. It’s big, beautiful, and a very dramatic piece of music.
I performed to the music as an exhibition program a couple of years ago.
This weekend I will get a chance to perform an easy version of “Romeo and Juliet” in Sun Valley. I’m starting to get comfortable skating through “Romeo and Juliet.” My program isn’t completely natural yet, but I’m starting to get much more comfortable. This is the first time I will skate the program in front of people. It always feels good to start performing the program after working so hard putting it together.
I have received a lot of e-mails this past year asking me how I selected my program music and the process I use. They were great questions.
Nikoli (Morosov) and I listened to the music for many days and many nights for hours and hours. Nikoli would come to the rink and say ‘let’s try this, or let’s make this cut’. We would cut five seconds here, another five seconds there. Then if it didn’t fit we would recut the music. I have a bunch of new, different moves that we had to fit into the music.
We worked hard this summer on making my technical part of the program a high degree of difficulty. I had to be able to do the elements with confidence to add them to my program.
Nikoli and I are definitely on the same page. We’re trying to do everything that is humanly possible with the music and also take into account what there is time for. Sometimes you think you have time for something and some of those times you don’t.
Right now the hardest part is done. I have the music, and I’m working on all the elements. We have all the elements placed in the program, and I am comfortable where they are and what we are doing. I am in shape and skating through the program. I have been practicing on all the difficult level spins and everything fits.
When I skate to music I don’t try to ‘perform’ a program like it’s theater. This is not the 1400s. But I definitely want to tell the story.
It’s all about giving a great performance. It is, after all, all about sports. We are athletes.
“Romeo and Juliet” synopsis
Romeo and Juliet (1968 movie)
Romeo and Juliet is a 1968 film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play. It stars Leonard Whiting, Olivia Hussey, John McEnery, Milo O’Shea, Michael York, Paul Hardwick, Natasha Parry, Antonio Pierfederici and Esmeralda Ruspoli.
The movie was adapted by Franco Brusati, Maestro D’Amico and Franco Zeffirelli, and directed by Zeffirelli.
It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture.
The film is noted as being one of the first versions of the play in which the main actors are near to the ages of the characters. Whiting was eighteen during filming, and Hussey was seventeen.
Getting back into shape; my tan is definitely improved
July 27, 2005
It’s fun hearing from you (fans) and getting questions. It helps me get excited about the upcoming season. I am going to spend a day in the next couple of weeks and answer as many questions as I can. This is a great time to send them, and I have time to answer them, too.
I wish I could thank you all personally for buying my book. I have had such good comments, and I’m glad I could share a personal part of my life
with you. I understand a second printing on the hard cover is being done. And this Friday (July 29) there will be a book signing at the Disney Ice
Center in Anaheim. I hope to see you there. I have fun meeting my fans because it gives me a chance to say ‘thank you’ for supporting me.
I’m really happy with my training and being with my family in California. I visited my grandma the other day. That’s always fun.
Mr. Nicks and I have been training together this summer. We haven’t gotten into a full schedule yet. I am working on a lot of things I have to complete before we get together full time again. I’m spending time on conditioning now.
Living at home gives me a sense of normalcy. I train during the days, and when it’s over I head to the pool or go to the beach on weekends. I have worked on my tan and must say it’s much better than last year!
This is about the time of year where the training schedule begins to come together and there is a little more intensity. Summer training is like I’m at the bottom of the mountain working my way up.
I don’t go shopping as much but go to movies with friends. Some of the recent movies I’ve seen are Mr. And Mrs. Smith and the Wedding Crashers. I thought that was real funny.
I hope to see some of you in Sun Valley late next month. I am going for my annual exhibition. I am scheduled for the show on Aug. 28.
July 25, 2005
I’m finally getting settled into my first house.
Remember last year I bought a house but it was found that the foundation wasn’t strong enough to support it? It was on a hill but all the rain last year had made it unstable.
I am also going to participate in the Campbell’s Classic scheduled on October 8 in St. Paul, Minn. That will be the first time I will be debuting my new long program in competition. More on that later this week.
I finally found a house about a block and a half from the beach. It’s really cute with a courtyard in the front. It’s flat where we are but you can see the ocean from the house.
I’ve been looking since last year. We just waited for different places to come on and off the market.
It’s three bedrooms, plenty big for mom, my sister and me. Natasha is living with us and will be going to school here this year.
It sure feels good to find a home and get settled after moving around six times in the past three years.
I’m just beginning to unpack boxes. It will be nice having pictures hanging on the walls. It will take us a while to get it fixed up but it’s already feeling like a home.
We have most of the furniture we will use. I will be looking for some patio furniture and I’ll need a few bar stools for the kitchen.
It’s really neat owning my own home. It’s like earning the opportunity to buy your first car. Buying a house gives me a sense of pride.
I’ll post another journal mid-week.
And I will be answering your great questions within the next two weeks.
June 29, 2005
Working out and listening to music
I hope everyone has been having a good summer.
It’s good to be writing a journal again. I haven’t had much time to squeeze in for time off. For skaters, it’s a year-round sport.
I did vacation in Tahiti. It was gorgeous. More on that later.
This is a good time to send me questions that I can answer on my Web site. I will get to them pretty quickly. And I still have some skating pins left I will give away until they run out for the best questions.
Briefly, the last couple of months I have been working out consistently, doing off ice training, getting my jumps back and lately listening to a lot of music. I hope to decide something by this weekend on the music I will use. We will then cut it and begin putting in a program.
I will get a new dress for the short program. We’re beginning to play around with the new dress for the long.
I am in Connecticut training and visiting Garrett. Timmy is coming this weekend for a couple of weeks and we’ll all get together and do something. I spent part of May and June in California.
Skating is going well and I’m getting back into shape.
Last week I celebrated Natasha’s birthday, although it is today, with my mom by going into the city. We had a great meal at the Per Se restaurant. It’s ranked one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and located in the Time Warner Center. Dinner can easily last between three and five hours.
It was good seeing Natasha. She begins her senior year in September.
I had a book signing last weekend in a cute little bookstore called Books Bytes and Beyond in New Jersey.
The book, I am told, is out of stock and a second printing is scheduled.Thank you for all the nice comments and for buying the book. And you can still order the book through my Web site.
I will be updating my journal more frequently now that I am settled in my training schedule.
Tour program is one of my favorites
April 5, 2005
I’m having fun touring and being with my friends. Touring gives us time to be with each other where competitions you might have one evening or a few hours to visit.
My touring program is “Don’t Rain On My Parade” by Barbra Streisand. I love the music.
The song happened to be on my iPod and when I heard it I absolutely loved it. I listened to it over and over and wanted to skate a program to the music.
Twice a week before Worlds, Mr. Nicks and I would work on the program. It’s less classical and more Broadway. I like it because it’s more open, more skating, and more smiling and performing.
It’s a different type of skating for me because it’s skating more to a beat with the music.
The dress is a brilliant shade of turquoise. It is all hand-beaded with stones and all other different sequins.
When I’m done with the Tour I’ll go back home and might begin looking for a house again. I definitely want to find a house but there’s no rush. We found out the land was unstable where I was going to buy my first house.
Morgan’s and other e-mails were special
April 2, 2005
I got a beautiful e-mail from Morgan, a 9-year-old skater from Massachusetts. Morgan had been to the COI Easter show in Boston and noticed I didn’t skate in the group numbers. She asked if I was OK.
That was a sweet e-mail and I’ve received a lot of others asking the same question.
I hurt my groin during practice for the Champions On Ice tour. I think the long days of practices and rehearsals may have had some impact. There’s a lot of work and then I cool down and then we’ll be working again. It’s not like a practice or competition where I have a routine of warming up and cooling down.
I hurt it two days before the Marshalls competition. I couldn’t get too much height because my legs were aching. I was barely walking one day. Marshalls was the first time I did my long program since Worlds.
Two days off helped me and it’s feeling better. It’s not hard doing my new program on Tour. I get to warm up properly before I skate and that helps.
Morgan, I hope you had fun at the Cotton Eyed Joe competition last weekend. I was thinking about you.
I will be coached by Mr. Nicks next season
March 31, 2005
Mr. Nicks will be coaching me through the Olympics next season.
I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any doubt who would be coaching me and wanted to announce it immediately so there are no rumors floating around during the summer.
Mr. Nicks has been great to work with this season. He’s laid back and he’s very smart. I definitely have more responsibility for my skating and training, too.
There’s not going to be any problems with ice time because there are plenty of rinks within 45 minutes of me I can use if I need them.
We’re both going to take some time and find some great music and work on programs for the next season. We’ll also try to develop new elements and spins.
Mr. Nicks is very good understanding the new scoring system and we’re going to work hard to put the best programs out there that get the most points.
We have worked well together and Mr. Nicks has helped me improve my elements to help take advantage of the Code of Points.
I’m looking forward to next season and training for the Olympics.
Time to go home, begin Tour with new program
March 20, 2005
I have a very short time to get this journal done so I’ll try to give you a quick update before I fly home.
I felt like I skated well at Worlds but also felt I could have skated a little better. I went in with the goal of winning gold.
I am skating a new program on the Champions On Ice Tour. It’s to Barbra Streisand’s ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’. We finished the choreography just before Worlds and I had my final fittings for my dress. I think you’ll like the number.
Some reporters at Worlds were asking me about my new house and I told them I wouldn’t be moving into the one we recently bought. It’s not a problem getting out of the sale since it wasn’t completed. The land was sliding because of all the rain.
My schedule is going to busier than usual after Worlds. I can’t believe it’s already the end of the season. I missed the Grand Prix season and missed seeing a lot of my friends I compete with.
I’m taking a couple of days off to fly home and then go to Springfield, Massachusetts to practice for the COI Tour.
The tour is short and compact. It’s not like competing. I love the tour and it will be great to see Johnny again. I will probably be flying home between tour dates to Los Angeles to help promote my book. I hope I get to meet a lot of you at my book signings.
Everything that has been happening to me has been wonderful. So much has been going on, it certainly puts perspective on my life. The great days are really great. I have put a lot of hard work to get to this point.
I will answer your e-mails and post them on the Web site. Thanks for your support.
Mr. Nicks is a calming influence, today’s a good start
March 16, 2005
It felt good to skate well in qualifying today. There’s still a long way to go but I’m pleased with today’s performance.
It’s good to be back with Mr. Nicks at Worlds.
He is very good at keeping me from getting too stressed out He keeps the practices light and works hard helping me loose.
We talk about things other than skating and laugh a lot at things outside of skating. He always keeps skating fun for me.
Mr. Nicks is much more involved with my skating and is really excited to be back. I skated with him at a younger age. I’ve matured and learned how to train. I’m in control of my skating and I push myself. I know what I want and what I need to do to get it.
A triple jump sequence has been added to my program
March 13, 2005
I’ve been in Moscow since Wednesday and am looking forward to beginning competition in a couple of days.
I’ve added a triple sequence to my program. It’s a triple toe with a flying leaf leading into a triple Salchow. By adding the combination it’s the only way to get in seven triples. We’ve completely changed the entire circle and added spirals. Mr. Nicks knows a lot about the Code of Points and we’ve made the program very competitive.
I’m looking forward to the qualifying round because it’s always good to get your feet under you with three programs in a competition.
Worlds take a lot more stamina but you get used to it from practice. I feel like I’m physically stronger and have what it takes to compete with three strong programs.
I like the Russian fans. They are big skating fans. They’re not quite 100 percent for me since I’m an American. It does help that they know my mom is from Russia and my name is Russian. But I don’t think I will get any extra applause for that!
I hope to tour the city more, especially the Red Square. It’s beautiful, immense and grand. It definitely has a sense of history. There’s a nice shop at the Red Square I visited last time I was here and will try to get back there. It is colder in Moscow and I brought a lot of extra clothes.
The last month leading up to Worlds I’ve been going to the pool, gym, walking, shopping and grocery shopping, taking care of my cats and getting together with my friends. It’s been nice being home. I think it has helped my skating and made me much happier.
I bought my first house! It has a great view!
March 4, 2005
Yes, I know it’s been several weeks before I posted a journal.
But I have a very good reason.
I just bought my first house!!! My mom and I found a place in Laguna Beach. When were house hunting we kind of knew this would be the one. It was a thrill just to sign the papers with my mom. I am so excited!
I didn’t want a big house. This is just right. We have enough furniture I won’t have to buy any. We will do some things to the house.
The view was very important in selecting where I was going to live. On one side there’s a view of the canyons and from the other is the view of the ocean. It’s beautiful!There’s a little place for a garden, too.
That’s about four different addresses in the past 18 months!
I’ve also been working very hard with Mr. Nicks. We changed a lot in my freeskate and added a jump. We put in a new program I will perform on the Champions On Ice Tour with new music. But more on that early next week.
I will post a journal a couple more times before Worlds to get you updated in what’s going on. I also appreciate the letters of support going into Worlds and the many e-mails, which I haven’t answered but hope to get to as soon as time allows. I have read most of them and it’s a good feeling to have so many good thoughts.
A very special letter from a soldier
February 14, 2005
I am getting a chance update my e-mail and mail, now that I am settled in back home.
The letter below was so special I wanted to share it with you today. I would like to invite you to read about my soldier I adopted.
I am encouraging you to support our troops by adopting a soldier or just write a letter. Some may want to make a class, school, skating club or church project. And some may want to write to SPC Sizemore at the address and ask him to share your letters of support to his friends. A group of you can adopt one soldier and invite others to do the same.
Thanks for sharing your time to support our troops who are helping our lives and others around the worlds. I know first hand, that I feel much safer abroad when I see our troops.
You probably hear this all the time, but I am a huge fan of yours. I grew up playing ice hockey. And all my female friends figure skate so they turned me into a fan of the sport.
I usually check your Web site every couple of weeks, when I get the chance. You are an explosive skater and very fun to watch. I haven’t been able to follow any of your latest competitions due to my service in Iraq.
I’ve noticed you adopted a soldier!
That’s awesome. We need all the support we can get. We experience things that will change our lives.
Mail is a huge thing to soldiers over here, I just think it’s awesome you adopted that soldier, Sasha! That makes you even more my favorite figure skater.
Are you much of a hockey fan? I’m a goalie. I wasn’t the best skater as a little kid. So the coach tossed me in the net and I fell in love with it. I love it so much; I’m a goaltending coach for my hometown youth hockey association.
Well, now I’m back in the Army!
Thanks again for your support for the soldiers. It really means a lot!
SPC Wesley B. Sizemore
HHC 81st BDE
USA Camp Anaconde
Happy Valentine’s Day; Natasha came to visit
February 13, 2005
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!
I’m planning on practicing as usual on Monday. I don’t have anything planned yet for Valentine’s Day. It will be practice as usual. Saturday I went to a birthday party for some friends. They are twins and both were born on February 12.
I’ve been at home and skating and training the past month. Training is much differently than it use to be. It’s more productive and we are accomplishing a lot. There hasn’tbeen too much exciting going on since Nationals. It’s been really nice with warm days and it’s good to be back in this climate.
We’re preparing for Worlds. I noticed your participating on my poll asking what you think I should add to my program. Well, we’re trying to add a triple-triple and another jump. We’re considering adding another combination. I look at the results of the polls and sometimes I get some good information from them. Thanks for participating. It’s one of the true ways I can see what the large group of you are thinking.
A week ago Natasha came home to visit. That was great. We had a great time. She’s finishing out her semester at Miss Porter’s. I miss her and we had a jam-packed weekend.
We went shopping, and bought a lot of clothing! Went out to dinner and visited with friends. Natasha will be coming home after the semester.
I’ve seen a lot of movies. I saw “Million Dollar Baby” and thought it was so inspirational. “Sideways” was really funny. “The Wedding Date” was cute. I don’t go to scary movies, I don’t like them.”
I hope you all have a great weekend and I will post anther journal this week.
Whew! I’ve finished the final chapter of my book
January 21, 2005
I’ve finished my part of the book and have put the final touches on it. I’m done with my writing and editing the last photos. There are a few things a writer must do and add the pictures from nationals and it should be ready for the printer.
I’ve started a page to show what the cover is like. In the coming weeks there will be more on the book, about the author and me working on it and later on we’ll tell where there will probably be some book signings.
I really like the cover photo. We selected a different one on an earlier cover but I wanted to change it. There are a lot of little things that go into the writing and making of the book.
I think you’ll like it. It’s going to be a fun read and a real page turner. I have written about things that have happened to me throughout my life, going to competitions – the good things and the bad – and added some real interesting stories few people know.
I don’t hold anything back. I wrote about the decision making process I faced when I left Mr. Nicks for Tatiana and then leaving her for Robin. The process of coming back to California when I did is included and has information that’s not been published before.
There is a lot of personal information about me that’s never been told before. Keep visiting for updates and I will provide some links where you can purchase the book on line.
I owe a special thanks to the USFSA, especially Laura Fawcett, for allowing me to have my short and free skate press conferences on my Web site. Laura, if you didn’t know, does a fantastic job with the USFSA Web site.
Glad to make Worlds; It was a successful Nationals
January 17, 2005
As you can imagine it was a very different Nationals for a lot of reasons. The sadness of Angela losing her mother the day before competition certainly saddened us all. I was glad to see the moment of silence in honor of Mrs. Nikodinov before the ladies program. Angela attended the ladies finals despite a heavy heart. I hope she could feel the skating community wrapping its arms around her. I am glad to hear Angela say she plans to continue skating. She’s always been a great competitor and Angela is a special friend to all skaters and is always very supportive. We are a very tight group of athletes who build lifelong friends with each other and our parents. It’s our turn to support Angela and Mr. Nikodinov. Mrs. Nikodinov was a wonderful mother and person and we will all miss her.
I got my new dresses just in time for the short and long program — in just three weeks, can you believe it? They both turned out well and I loved skating in them. I am happy to finish second and earn a spot on the Worlds team. I always want to win competitions I enter but this is a time in my career I must look at the bigger picture and work to improve so I am prepared and successful for the Olympic season.
It was like old times with Mr. Nicks coaching me. I felt relaxed and I am very happy and feel comfortable being home practicing and being with my family and friends. It seems like so much stress has been removed. I can concentrate on skating and focus on getting better. By Worlds we will continue to work on some techniques and elements of my program. I am familiar with the code of points scoring by competing in previous competitions with that system. Since it won’t be new I can concentrate on the difficulty of the components of my program to get the highest score possible.
I don’t know who put all the signs up at the Rose Garden but I think I saw them all, or least most of them. They were great and thanks for the support. It makes a skater feel good to see the signs and hear the crowd.
Bittersweet day for short program
January 13, 2005
I would like to express my condolences to Angela Nikodinov and her family. I was very saddened to hear of Mrs. Nikodinov’s death Wednesday as they were coming from the airport to the hotel.
An event like that helps put your life’s priorities in perspective, I know how close Angela was with her mom and I hope for the best with Angela. Please remember Angela in your thoughts and prayers. If you would like to send letters or cards please direct them to: U.S. Figure Skating at 20 First Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.
As far as tonight’s skating, it felt great to be out there and I feel that everything is coming together for me. I’ve had great practices and I really don’t know what happened when I touched on the triple Lutz, but I thought I better do the combination!
I am looking forward to Saturday and the freeskate. I have a beautiful new costume and am anxious to skate in it. The costumes were made since I’ve been in California – both of them have been made within three weeks. The first thing I did when I got here was to see the person about my costumes and was assured they would be done in time. I am very pleased how they turned out – and on time!
I have seen so much change in my skating since I’ve moved home. Mr. Nicks’ biggest influence is he has given me more confidence in my skating. He told me not to worry about my jumping. Just concentrate on the whole. I have had very good practices and run-throughs with my programs before coming to Portland.
In the two years since I’ve been away from Mr. Nicks I have made a tremendous amount of improvement and now I’m able to use more of what he’s got to offer. We’re working well together and it feels good to be back home with my friends.
Skating out there tonight was wonderful. I saw the signs and heard my friends shout ‘Go O.C.!’
There was a question at the press conference asking about me and Michelle almost colliding during the warmup. I explained that my curve was deeper than expected and Michelle happened to come by before I realized it would be close. When you’re on the ice and focused on what you’re doing we all realize that there are usually five or six other girls out there, too.
Thanks for your support and please remember Angela and her family in your prayers.
Getting comfortable at a competition can be a big task
January 12, 2005
We’re a day away from the short program and I’m anxious to get on the ice and compete again. All is going well in practice and I am very happy to be training at home. I just wish it would stop raining!
I will write more once the competition starts. I will tell you a little bit of what’s been going on since I’ve been here.
I’ve had a chance to see some of my friends I grew up with but I haven’t seen many practices. My practice schedule doesn’t allow me time to visit. I’m on the ice practicing, resting, eating or sleeping once competition begins.
It’s good to see Tiffany back competing. She and Sergey are in third place in ice dancing after Tuesday night’s compulsory.
The media will do mostly feature stories on us from conference calls we had before we got here or during a media conference here. Sometimes after practice they may try to get in some quick questions but that is unusual.
The fans are pretty good and understanding during practice and competitions. When possible I enjoy meeting fans, signing and posing for pictures. I remember when I was little how much I looked up to skaters and I try to accommodate as many fans as possible.
One of the first things we did when we arrived was to get our credentials. You register, get your picture taken for a badge that allows you access to certain areas and get a schedule for the rest of the week. We learn our practice times for the competition and when the draw will be held for starting positions in the short program. The freeskate draw is held after the short program.
Once I get my schedule I study it to make sure I know where I’m supposed to be and when. And I usually try to get my bearings when I arrive so I know the distance from the hotel to the arena and the travel time.
I usually will walk the arena to see where the warmup area is. I like to run as part of my off-ice warmup and I don’t want to be running somewhere I shouldn’t!
After the first two days it gets to be like any other competition. The day of the short program I am focused and just concentrating on putting out a good program.
Thanks for your support.
Merry “Christmakuh”; Congratulations to winners!
December 24, 2005
I want to wish you all a Merry “Christmakuh”. It’s great being home with my family and celebrating the holidays.
Please take a few minutes to read the winning entries of “My Favorite Christmas Memory” and all the others who entered. Congratulations to Tiffany from Cedarburg, Wisconsin; Laura from Albany, New York; and Elaine from Simi Valley, California. Tiffany won “gold”, Laura “silver” and Elaine”brone”. Everybody else won “honorable mention”.
It was very difficult to choose the winners. I read each one at least twice. When it got down to the finalists I had to concentrate to decide the winners. But I consider you all winners and applaud your caring for others.
I am very proud of how much you share your lives with family, friends and less fortunate people.
I will have more contests in 2005 and they will be fun with some great prizes. If your friends, family members or classmates haven’t registered to my database please encourage them to do so. We’re going to have some contests where people you know registered on my Web site will give you more chances to win prizes.
The coming competitions and Olympic season next year will be exciting and I’m going to have some great things happening that you will find here first.
Coming home just felt like the right thing to do
December 23, 2004
Wow! You responded quickly with your questions concerning my move back home.
Some of the information didn’t answer your questions so I’m going to try to explain in a short journal what went into my decision to come back
The decision wasn’t a hard one this time because it felt like the right thing to do. I knew it was right to go home. I didn’t really sit down and think about it. It had just gotten to a breaking point where I didn’t think it was working for me.
The first week back we stayed with friends but have since found an apartment. My family will be coming home with me. We just signed a lease in
New York and will have to break it.
I tried for a year to see if making a move to New York would work. Coming home wasn’t about distractions. I love New York and Connecticut.
Right when I came back home and went to the rink it felt great. The whole
environment just felt right again.
The ice situation has improved a bit since I last skated at the Aliso
Viejo Ice Palace. It’s not a lot of ice but it’s enough for me. It’s less crowded. It’s not ideal but it works.
I hope this helps a little bit. I will try to post another journal before Christmas.
Thanks for all your support and encouragement.
I’m returning home and will train with Mr. Nicks
December 22, 2004
I wanted to announce a move I have made. I am going back my hometown with my family, friends and warm California sun! You might have seen a short announcement last night but we wanted to announce this simutaneously with the USFSA. Sorry for the confusion. You have been very loyal to me and this is the best way to get the news out to my friends and fans the quickest and most accurate.
I have moved back to California, where I began my skating career and am training with my former coach, Mr. John Nicks. I will no longer be coached by Robin.
I will be training with Mr. Nicks through the U.S. Nationals at Portland, Oregon in mid-January.
After the last several years training on the east coast, I have come to the realization that California is my home and it is time for me to return. Working with Robin for the past year has been a wonderful experience for me.
She is a great coach and friend. Robin is supportive of my decision to move home to California to be back with my friends and family. I wish her nothing but the best in the future.
I am enjoying working with Mr. Nicks again to prepare for U.S. Nationals. I was immediately comfortable working with him, almost like I never left. I think my decision to move back to California will improve the quality of my life, which will in turn benefit my skating.
I will announce the contest winners on Christmas Eve and post the entries on Christmas Day. Your entries are great and very heart-warming.
Thank you for your support. You’re the best fans a person can have and I hope to see a lot of you in Portland.
Training hard; holiday contest coming Wednesday!
December 12, 2004
Hi everybody. All the supportive e-mails have been overwhelming. I’m feeling good and training is going well.
I think December is one of the most important training months of the year for me. It leads into Nationals and Worlds. I will post another journal this week about how the holidays impact on skaters.
And I will announce a holiday contest Wednesday night. I will be giving some good prizes and it’s a contest everyone can enter and have a chance to win. Since it’s over the holidays I’m sure some of you will guess what it will be. It will only be for one week so the winner can be announced on Christmas Eve!
I’ve been practicing a lot the past couple of weeks. Last week we practiced in Virginia to work with a program designed by Audrey Weisiger called the Dartfish. We spent the entire day at the rink. It’s a program that helps define movement and technique in my jumps. I have a video we put together so I can watch the execution of my jumps. It also provides a freeze frame of jumps from takeoff to landing. It’s been very helpful and I like it a lot. We’ve spotted some technical adjustments to make.
I didn’t get a chance to see Timmy. He was in California.
Unfortunately I am starting all over with my competition dresses. It didn’t work out with the person we selected during the summer.
I feel better and program is going well; dress isn’t ready
November 26, 2004
I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Our family went to a restaurant and celebrated the holiday together. Natasha has been home all week and we’ve enjoyed going together and exploring shops in the city and walking around. I’m enjoying shopping for curtains and pictures for the apartment.
I feel good and I am doing my program without any problems. The back is better. I have physical therapy regularly and make sure I take my time warming up for practice.
I plan on doing 6-7 triples and perform a strong, powerful program at next week’s competition. I can’t believe the competitive season is almost over! After next week there’s only Nationals and Worlds.
There was a little longer wait between journals because I was going to show my new dresses. Unfortunately they are not ready. I will be wearing the “My Fair Lady” dress with some alterations. It makes me look like Clara in the “Nutcracker”.
Last weekend was the final Marshalls Skate With a Star clinic. It was held at Wolman Rink in Central Park. It was a little cloudy and cool but we had a great time. It was beautiful to be in the park.
It’s fun being with the children. They were very excited and curious. I enjoy being with them and trying to provide them a role model. I’m use to being under the microscope, so to speak, so I’m always aware that people are watching me and what I do. But I’m a very conservative person so it’s not hard for me.
I’m feeling good; thanks for all your e-mails
November 11, 2004
Hi everybody. Until I got more than the normal number of e-mails I didn’t realize it’s been three weeks since before I updated my journal.
I’ll catch you up with some things that have happened.
I’m happy to say that I am feeling good and my training seems to be coming all together this week. All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. The jumps, skating and program feel like it should.
My back is feeling much better and I want to thank you for all the kind e-mails of support. I’ve learned to listen to my body when something isn’t right. I think I knew something was wrong with my back because I’ve been there before. That’s why I went to the doctor right away and then the trainer to get therapy.
It’s very hard to answer a lot of e-mail right now but a lot of you asked if I was worried about my back when I hurt it. I have to admit it made me worry a little bit. But after seeing the doctor, I was reassured the injury wasn’t serious and could be treated with rest, therapy and working out lightly on the ice until it healed.
All of us skaters realize we’re in an extreme sport. We’re always going to have little aches and pains. It goes with the territory.
I had a good time at the Zales in NYC promoting the Citizen Watches. It rained that Saturday. It was a lot of fun because I was there for four hours and in between meeting fans. I got to try on some great jewelry and pearl necklaces. Some of the corporate representatives were in town and I got to meet them and have my picture taken with them.
I was asked some of the same questions from the corporate reps there that I am asked from you. Since we were in a jewelry store I was asked a lot of questions about the jewelry I like. It was definitely a lot of fun! And it was one of the more relaxing days I’ve had in a while.
I saw where Timmy will be training outside of D.C. I know he loves NYC so I’m hoping he’ll come to the city and visit.
My family decided to stay in one apartment in NYC. My mom and dad are going back and forth to California more often so there’s plenty of room for us.
We’ve had a chance to go to Connecticut on weekends and visit Natasha. And I’m enjoying exploring the different restaurants here in NYC.
There’s three weeks to go before the Pro-Am. I will probably have a surprise for the Nutcracker but can’t talk about that until closer to the competition.
A week from Saturday is the final Marshalls Skate Fest in New York at Wollman rink in Central Park. Registration began today at noon. I hope you can make it. They’re a lot of fun.
It’s time to get back to hard work
October 7, 2004
I was pleased with what was accomplished at the Pro-Am last Friday. I knew before the Pro-Am I had a lot of work to do. I did what I came to do. I went out, did a performance and will now get back to hard work.
I look at it as the beginning of the season. The program still lacks a couple of triples.
We’ve changed the way we are approaching this season. Last year I peaked early and this year we’re working toward peaking at Nationals and Worlds.
There was nothing unexpected that happened at the Pro-Am. I skated about the way I thought I would. There was a lot of stress leading up to the first competition. Mostly it was about getting a late start. We were moving, traveling out of town for some appearances and getting healthy,which made for a very stressful week going into the Pro-Am.
I didn’t skate for a month this summer because of vacation in California, and then I had a bad reaction to medication from a terrible spider bite on my foot that kept me off the ice for about a week and a half. I don’t know where exactly I got the bite, but I think it was in Connecticut.
My foot swelled and we were concerned it was getting infected. Robin and I didn’t get together for about a month because she told me to take time to get healthy before returning soon so we could have quality training time.
Some of you have been sending me e-mails already about the Olympics in 2006. That’s very perceptive. I will explain my philosophy of training and competitions coming into the Olympic season in my weekend journal.
At the Pro-Am I just wanted to put things together and skate my Nutcracker program for the first time.
I’m finally all settled in my New York apartment
October 3, 2004
My family and I are all moved in, and we’re beginning to get somewhat settled in our new surroundings.
As I write I can see the Lincoln Center. In a few minutes I’m going to take a jog in Central Park.
A year ago I never imagined I would be living in New York City although I wanted to. I really love it here.
I wanted tell all the fans that came to see me in St. Paul, Minnesota that I appreciate your support.
I promise I will post another journal on Tuesday about the competition. There was a lot more going on in the last two weeks with the moving, practice, traveling to Marshalls Skate Fests out of town and the competition.
I’ve gotten a lot of e-mail asking what my apartment is like and where I live. I have a three-room apartment in the same building as my parents. It’s really great to have my own place for the first time.
My bedroom is the only thing furnished so far. I will have to shop for curtains, carpet, furniture and other things, but I’m looking forward to that. I will have to decide if I want to take my parents’ couch or get my own. It’s an exciting time for me.
Luckily, my parents did most of the moving. It’s great to have them here with me and I’m so excited we’re in the same building.
I’m sure I will see a lot of my parents. And I’m sure my mom will check in on me. Sometimes, when I’m out of food, I know where I can go for some good home cooking!
Thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing a lot of my fans in Pittsburgh in about two weeks for Skate America.
I had a great time at Marshalls Skate Fests
September 26, 2004
I’m sure most of you have read about the Marshalls Skate Fests and have seen the new pictures from my photo shoot. I’m anxious to know what you think about the new photos, so let me hear from you.
It’s been a busy two weeks. I know you’re interested in the season starting, at least it seems like it by the number of e-mails and mail I have received.
I’ll wrap up the last two weeks and by midweek will start a journal on my first competition.
A couple of weeks ago we shot the Marshalls commercial that will air during competitions. It’s neat. They have me walking into a dark rink for a practice. I pull the power switch to turn on the lights and there’s a bunch of kids waiting on the ice to skate with me. It’s really cute.
The Skate Fests were fun. I was flattered so many people came out. There’s a real cute picture, I think it’s the last one on the page, where it shows me instructing the skaters for the final curtsy. I did some spirals and spins and answered a lot of questions. It seemed like the skaters had a lot of fun with me. The most unusual thing I hear from skating fans is someone will tell me they named their cat after me. I signed a lot of autographs but I made sure everyone at the event got one. I feel that if they can spend the time to come see and support me I can make time for them.
My family is moving to New York next week. I will have my own apartment. It’s the first time I’m going to be on my own. I own a refrigerator for my food and I will be taking care of my kitty. It’ll just be us. I am taking my time to furnish my apartment so I can decide what style I want.
You’re all too smart; next time, a harder question!
September 22, 2004
How did all of you know that?
Marian from Somers, New York, won the trivia contest posted in my last journal asking the name of the quarterback who played with Franco Harris and was married to a figure skater. I met Franco Harris at ESPN’s 25th Anniversary party a couple of weeks ago at the ESPN Zone at Madison Square Garden, and I didn’t know at the time that the quarterback of his team was a figure skater. Apparently a lot of you did!
The answer was Terry Bradshaw, who was quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jo Jo Starbuck, a three-time U.S. Pairs champion with partner Ken Shelley.
For additional trivia, I have found out that Jo Jo Starbuck was among the cast of the 1992 skating movie “Cutting Edge”. She also portrayed herself in a television production of “The Girls in the Office” in 1979. Susan St. James, Barbara Eden and Joe Penney were the primary characters of the show.
It’s been such a great weekend with so many people entering the trivia contest and the Marshalls Skate Fest. I had so many responses I am awarding first, second and third place awards.
I’m happy for Marian and was surprised at all the people who guessed correctly. Congratulations and I’ll come up with some harder trivia next time!
First place – Marian from Somers, New York, won autographed picture, a signed credential from an Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends and a Team USA skating pin.
Second place – Shannon from Bremerton, Washington, an autographed 25th Anniversary On Ice credential and a Team USA skating pin.
Third place – Trang from Houston, Texas, a Team USA skating pin.
Thanks everyone for playing along with the trivia question.
Fun at Skate Fest, ESPN party, and a question for you!
September 19, 2004
I was in Chicago yesterday for the Marshall’s Skate Fest, at Seven Bridges Ice Arena. Later today I’m at the Memorial City Mall in Houston for another clinic.
Sasha and Michael Phelps
It seemed like a good time to give you a quick update on the ESPN 25th Anniversary party I went to last weekend. It was held at the Time Warner Building in NYC.
I went with my friend and an agent from the Wilhelmina agency. We were dropped off in a limo and walked down the red carpet. I had my picture taken with Michael Phelps. He was one of the athletes I recognized, and I wanted to say hello and get a picture with him. At the time I was thinking, Wow! The Summer Olympics are over!
It was an awesome event. It started out with cocktails and hors douvres while everybody walked around meeting each other. I got to meet Franco Harris who played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped them win some Super Bowls.
I’ll give you a trivia question. If you can answer it I will send you an autographed picture. If more than one guesses correctly, I will select the winner in a drawing. The deadline is Wednesday, September 22 at 5 p.m. EDT. E-mail your answer at email@example.com
Who was the quarterback for Franco Harris’ team and what skater was he once married to?
There were 60-70 athletes at the party and lot of officials from ESPN and its sponsors. They commemorated the Top 25 moments in ESPN’s history.
Costumes nearer finish; Hope to see you at Skate Fests
September 13, 2004
I’ve had a great week of training and spent some time with my costume designer in the
City. It went really well. I’ll describe my costumes as it gets nearer to competitions. I might wait until Grand Prix to debut the new short and long.
It’s amazing how fast the competitive season is getting near. I’m not nervous yet, but ask me in about two weeks!Robin helped me with the costume designer. He’s Eric Gaskins and was Robin’s old boss at Bergdorf Goodman. He does great work and I’m extremely excited with what we have come up with. Eric also used to be a skater.
I like helping design dresses. Some skaters, like Maria Butryskaya, made their own. I’ve always liked helping design dresses. Sometimes I go into the closet where they’re all lined up from 11 years back and reminisce.
I hope the fans near Chicago and Houston register for the Marshall’s Skate Fests. Chicago is scheduled Saturday at the Seven Bridges Ice Arena and Houston is Sunday at Ice Skate USA at the Memorial City Mall. You can register now by going to the USFSA Web site. I hope to see you there and please mention you have visited my Web site.
Living in the city is going well. I’ve never lived in an apartment before. It’s easier but it’s definitely a lifestyle change not to have a yard or some open spaces.
I went to the ESPN 25th Anniversary party and met a lot of professional and amateur sports celebrities from the past and present. They had a red carpet for us to walk down and we had our pictures taken of ourselves and some celebrities.
I always do my own grocery shopping but making dinner is an adventure. There are so many great restaurants around I usually go out to eat. There are a lot of Chinese restaurants around and I like to eat there a lot. I’m getting used to NYC. I love SoHo, Greenwich Village and NYU campuses.
I feel bad for the people in Florida with all the hurricanes. When we lived in California we had plenty of earthquakes and when they hit we would wait for a few seconds and they would be over. I’ve never been in a hurricane.
Freezing in Sun Valley; send me your questions
August 29, 2004
I had a great week in Sun Valley.
Can you believe I had ice on my car Wednesday morning? I couldn’t believe it! I said it’s way to early for it to be cold! I didn’t bring anything warm to wear. All day Wednesday I was wearing my skating tights, gloves, warmups and everything else I could find to stay warm.
I’ve been breaking in a new pair of boots while I’ve been here.
This was the last chance we have had to get together as a family on vacation and the time has been nice.
I’ve been skating with these cute little girls everyday and they’ve been saying “That’s Sasha Cohen”, “That’s Sasha Cohen”. Seeing that helps me recognize my responsibility as a role model. It’s fun and I remember when I was on the ice with some of my idols.
I am visiting with my dressmaker before coming home and hope to finalize the costumes for my competitions.
I enjoyed answering some of your questions you e-mailed. The questions are excellent and my Web master posted them on the New Mail page. This is an excellent time to ask questions other than ice skating ones. It’s harder to answer fan mail and respond to e-mail once the competitions begin.
I’m adding a fashion page to my site. I hope you’ll check it out. I’ll be glad to answer your questions.
Skating in Sun Valley; new photo shoot
August 25, 2004
I did my new short and long program this past weekend at the Sun Valley Show.
Both went well but it was tough since the programs were just put together. It was a good experience to skate it here.
It helps me get ready and it helps to skate in front of a large audience.
The long program will be a great program.
The main goal was to keep making progress here.
I will spend the rest of the week in Sun Valley and breaking in a new pair of skates. There will be a lot of training on and off ice.
It’s a good change of scenery and or family gets to spend some time together.
The photo shoot with Nigel Barker in NYC was fun. It took about five hours. I have picked out the photos I liked and we’re getting them organized before we display them on my Web site.
I used some of my clothing and they had some there for me to wear.
You’ll notice my hair is longer. I’m trying to grow it out a little!
August 19, 2004
My new programs
I’m going to be skating to “Dark Eyes”, a type of Russian gypsy song that I really like. Some of you may remember I had it for a short program for the 2000-2001 season but didn’t get to use it much.
It has a lot of buildup and keeps the mood throughout.
Nikoli Morosov choreographed the program.
I have 10 extra seconds to add some steps and moves into elements, and I think we took great advantage of that.
I’ve always loved the music and wanted to revisit it since very few people got to see me skate it. I’m comfortable with the music and choreography and am confident it can be a great short program for me.
My long program will be to “Pas de Deux” from The Nutcracker. It is a piece of music that has a lot of depth to it. It’s gorgeous music and makes a great program. It’s a piece that, to me, is exactly what the music tells me to do. The music has a great feel.
Everytime I listen to it on the ice when skating, the program becomes clearer.
Marina Zueva did a wonderful job choreographing the program and Igor Shpilband did the footwork. I am extremely excited competing with this program Marina and Igor choreographed.
When we choreographed the program, we did it in pieces, then one day we put all the pieces together, and it turned out wonderful. I love skating to it and think it will be a great program this season.
In the first run-through of the entire program, I thought, Wow! It’s great, but it needs a lot of work!
I’m now working on the dresses for the programs. Early on I will be wearing older dresses until I get my new ones done.
Robin and I both love fashion and we’re putting together some designs. Robin will say, “see this color on you, try this,” and I’ll see another color. We’re also looking at the cut of the dresses.
It’s a lot of fun.
Watching the Olympics; program details to come!
August 12, 2004
Are you excited about the Summer Olympics starting Friday night?
It definitely puts me in a mode and spirit that I remember two years ago at Salt Lake City. I will be cheering on our team.
I don’t know how much time I will get to watch the Games, but I plan on watching as much of the gymnastics competition as possible. I know exactly what they had to do to get where they are.
What the Olympics mean to an athlete is hard to put into words. It’s just such an extraordinary experience.
My memories are of the competition, but I also have very fond memories of being there with all the best athletes from all the sports in the village. It was so much fun.
It’s impossible to describe what it is like to be a part of an event that comes once every four years and an event that has been around for over a hundred years.
I am skating my new program in Sun Valley next weekend. I hope those who live nearby will be able to see it.
I have been getting a lot of e-mail about my music and programs and will announce both of them next week. I’ll do my best to describe what Robin and I have put together so far.
I am encouraging my Web master to make sure he asks for non-related skating questions. We’ve put a poll up and have reviewed the results and comments. Please send your fashion questions so I can get them answered quickly before the season begins.
After I introduce my music and programs, I will be glad to answer your questions about them.
Thanks for your support.
Costumes, practicing, and a book!
August 6, 2004
It has been a busy two weeks. I’ve finally settled on my new costumes; we’re setting up a new photo shoot; we’re in the moving process and living out of boxes; both of my new programs have been choreographed and Robin and I are working hard on that; I’m proofing my book that comes out in a few months; and practicing hard to get back into competitive shape while learning all the new programs.
I’m also working with my Web master on some new ideas we will launch this skating season.
The person making my costumes is one I’ve worked with before. He beaded my dress for “My Fair Lady” and he is very good.
We’re still putting things in boxes. It looks like we might be renting a place for a month in New York until our place is ready. Right now I’m just staying in the city during the week and getting into a pattern. Everything is going well with that. By staying in the city during the week I’m saving six hours of travel time a day.
Things are going real well with Robin and me. Our schedules have been laid out and I will definitely be ready for the first competition. I probably won’t be in peak shape but will be for Nationals and Worlds.
We’re studying the new rules to make sure we are getting the most out of the programs.
There’s still time for fun. Last weekend Natasha, a friend and I saw the “Bourne Supremacy”, got some frozen ice cream at Dots and had a lot of fun walking downtown.
I never thought I would have a book about me, but it is coming along great. I’m very happy with the lady writing it. It’s about my whole life story and competing in my first events.
I’m just reading over it and working on a few details. There are a lot of photos in the book. I think you’ll really like it. It will come out after Nationals. I will make sure you’re the first to hear how to purchase copies of it.
I’m touched and impressed by your kindness
July 27, 2004
Congratulations to Victoria for winning the “Acts of Kindness” contest. There were so many good entries it was difficult to choose.
I decided to award a second and third place, but it’s hard to say one act of kindness is worthier than others.
I am very proud of all the entries. This contest was important to me, because I believe everyone has some kindness to share with family, friends, neighbors and strangers.
You can read about the three entries elsewhere on my Web site. But there were so many others that were so heartfelt in making a difference in someone’s life.
I continue to be amazed how caring and kind fans and people who support me are with others. Let’s continue to work together to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Below are just samplings of “Acts of Kindness” . Thank you for sharing your kindness with me.
Courtney saw a wallet on the side of the road with a lot of money in it. She had to travel the same road to her aunt’s house and later saw a car parked with a man looking on the side of the road where the wallet was found. Courtney returned the wallet with everything in it.
Jennifer of Hong Kong sold flags on a very hot day to help raise money for a community youth club.
Hena joined others in sponsoring a child in Thailand; Cristina sponsors a girl in Romania and the Phillipines.
Erica and her husband, both physicians, joined a group of medical students to provide medical care to people in Haiti.
Shawn from Delaware, Laurin from Florida and Laura have all adopted soldiers to show their support of military personnel away from their families.
Julie from Ohio directed a drive for sending 10,000 joy bags to Iraqi and Afghan children.
Annie from Cyprus participated with her school’s theatre program to perform an extra program to raise money with all profits going to an anti-drug organization and Make-A-Wish.
Christina volunteers with “Freedom Riders” who help physically disabled children ride horses and play games on them.
Sonia gives up her study hall to help a special needs student in biology lab.
Yuki from Yokohama, Japan is only 6 years old but helps other small children learn to skate.
Lauren from Texas goes to nursing homes and hospitals to visit sick children.
Amy visited her grandfather’s nursing home and helped to push people in wheelchairs to church.
Sivert from Norway helps the elderly carry heavy bags into their buildings.
Practicing the quad
July 15, 2004
I’ve been practicing the quad, and I’m starting to get the rhythm.
Robin and I started on the harness, and I’ve had some good attempts on the ice. I’m not sure whether to put it into my programs yet. We’ll see how it goes.
When Robin and I started practicing it on the harness it went well quickly.
The difference between a quad and a triple is it takes a lot to go that extra rotation. You have to find the right timing to make sure you’re straight and have the strength to get up in the air so you can control the landing.
Not many girls do the quads, so it’s hard to generalize the jumps.
I don’t think it’s a body type more than it is a rhythm with a quad. I’ve seen guys who are tall do it as well as guys who are small.
If you’re not straight it can be scary!
But it’s a neat feeling when you’re in the right place. It’s a rush!
It’s time to get back into competitive shape
July 12, 2004
There are a couple of new rules this year.
The ladies short program can be up to 2 minutes and 50 seconds. I think I will be using the entire time, and I like the extra 10 seconds. I think it gives the skaters a chance to make a program better without rushing from element to element.
Ladies can also wear pants in singles and pairs. Robin and I were just discussing that. I’m still partial to dresses and will stay with that. I guess ladies could wear a leotard or something, but I still love a dress.
There are some other minor changes. Overall I think the skating rules are getting better.
I have spent the past week training with Robin and getting my body back into competitive shape. Robin started to work a little bit with my program, I started to get back all my jumps and build up my stroking and running. The best way is not to get frustrated and keep getting stronger. Summer is a different process of skating. I’m just trying to get my body back to where it was.
There aren’t any drills or practices that I don’t dislike. I know that stroking at the beginning of hard training will burn. And I know that the next day I will hurt, but it eventually goes away as I get in shape.
I’ve had some good time off. I think it’s good to have a good mental and physical approach so I’m fresh when training comes around.
I use the summer time to get my new equipment, get very organized in training and make a great plan for the competitive season.
Robin is always creative and every day practice is always different. Some days Robin emphasizes more stroking, or spins, more jumps or certain jumps. Even off ice training is different so I don’t get stuck in a rut.
Before returning to practice I participated in the USFSA Adult Camp. The adults were really great to work with and they were very interested. They thought a lot of things through. I worked on some jumps with the adults on the ice and then we signed some autographs.
We had a wonderful time in Italy
June 25, 2004
We began thinking about Italy after watching “Under the Tuscan Sun”. We had vacationed in Hawaii and loved France. We thought we would go somewhere we hadn’t been this year.
Natasha loved Italy too. We did a lot of window shopping and spent a lot of time walking and sightseeing. By the way, Natasha’s 16th birthday is Monday and we’ll be celebrating it this weekend in New York.
Europe is definitely more trendy and comfortable in fashion. I also saw some amazing shoes.
It was a wonderful trip and we got to see everything North of Rome. We might go another time South of Rome and to the coast.
There was a different place to visit every day. One day we drove to Tuscany and visited the chateaus and little towns and on another day we drove to Florence.
On the way to Venice, driving from Tuscany, we ate at one of Italy’s best restaurants.
The last two days we stayed in Venice.
Dad did most of the planning. We were flexible when we went to cities we liked and where we wanted to go.
We got lost a little bit and we learned some key Italian words from a book my Mom brought.
We saw some beautiful and wonderful architecture. It’s unbelievable how elaborate everything appeared.
When you walk up to the top of the Vatican and look out you can see all of Rome.
It was at the Vatican that one of the funniest things happened on our trip. When you visit the Vatican the dress code prohibits men from wearing shorts. My dad was wearing short and had to purchase some paper pants before entering the Vatican!
All the art we saw in Rome was amazing. We saw the Sistine Chapel. It was beautiful.
Driving through Tuscany we saw the vineyards and chateaus. When we were at the top of the mountain, there was a restaurant at the end of the chateau and you could see all over the countryside.
Venice was magical. We went on a gondola ride and walked through the little towns. When we went to dinner one night in Venice, we just sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the view of the Grand Canal.
Tuscany was so beautiful with the rolling hills. The place where we stayed looked like an old castle. It was like a fortress, had a swimming pool and we had time to walk the beautiful grounds.
Late in the afternoon we had time to rest before having a wonderful dinner on the patio.
When we were in Chianti we stayed in a tiny hamlet on top of the mountain. It was warm and in the seventies and we were about to take a swim when a hail storm hit. We were running around in this little town trying to escape the lightning!
Hello everyone, I’m back from vacation
June 19, 2004
I just got back from a great vacation today and will share some of the details later in the week.
I just received the good news about sharing SKATING magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award with the Haydennettes synchronized skating champions. I’m proud of them and happy for the recognition the Haydennettes are
And I am surprised to be on the ballot for the Teen Choice 2004 awards! I hope I get to go to the Awards. I went once before and it was great. All the people you hear about are there. There’s a lot of celebrities and so many great athletes. It’s so cool! I had no idea all this was happening.
There’s a lot to do in the next few days leading into next week. I’ve got to unpack and wash my clothes.
I have seen some of the “Acts of Kindness” entries and will be judging them. They’re so good I’m going to tell my Webmaster to create a page and share them with everyone. I’m very proud of the effort you go to in helping others.
I am going to New York next week and begin training with Robin.
You can look forward to Natasha joining me on the Web site. She is so talented. I have received so much e-mail about Natasha and our relationship that we’re going to create some special pages for her.
I will post some more journals this week.
Sorry this is short, but we just got home an hour ago.
“Big Nate” was a big surprise!
May 30, 2004
I hope everyone is having a pleasant and safe Memorial Day weekend. Since I have adopted a soldier, the weekend and national holiday has taken on a more personal meaning.
I’ve read some excellent acts of kindness you have submitted, and I want to remind you there’s still two weeks left to enter. You don’t have to write long essays, just a description of your good deeds. I also understand that some of you might feel awkward writing about your good deeds, but I hope you won’t let that keep you from entering. Maybe what you have done will inspire others or give ideas to others of ways to make a difference in their community. I hope that you will feel comfortable talking to me and to each other about your experiences.
On a lighter subject, I received plenty of e-mails about the panel of comics featuring me in “Big Nate” last week. That was so cool! It’s really neat to be in the comics. I never thought that I would be on the comics page. I appreciate what Mr. Peirce said about why he chose me.
Lately I’ve been working on getting back into shape. I’ve started Pilates and I have been skating a lot more – at least twice a day. During the summer I work harder and spend more time on the ice to get my body ready for the competitive season.
I’m skating in Newington until we finalize our plans for our move to New York. We’re trying to find some quality ice time for training. Times are tough and there’s not much time available. But we’re working on several possibilities.
My grandma came a week ago, when we had the Tea Party, and my dad’s parents are visiting this weekend.
Natasha is really busy and studying for finals. When she gets out of school, we’re going to take a vacation. I’ll have a lot to tell you when I get back!
It’s great helping children
May 25, 2004
The Tea Party for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center went well. I’m still waiting to hear how much we raised for the children.
We had great goody bags for everybody. There were signed t-shirts, and I signed pictures for all the girls.
David Glass supplied all the cakes and they were absolutely delicious. The sandwiches were good, and we had good weather.
The decorations were nice. There were a lot of beautiful flower arrangements on white tablecloths. There were a lot of pictures of me everywhere!
I introduced myself and spoke briefly to the guests. We then had a question and answer session. They asked me anything they wanted to know. A lot of the questions were about being nervous when I compete, the Olympics, my friends and training.
Some of the little girls were speechless when I would come by their table. They were all very kind and shy at first but became pretty talkative. It was really cute.
I recognized one or two young girls who skate at the rink where I train. It reminded me of when I was younger. I did my first show in Sun Valley and skated with Oksana Baiul. We met back stage and she was so sweet to me. I couldn’t believe I was skating in the same show with her.
It’s great helping out the kids who are sick and having a tough time. I’d definitely like to continue to do this with bigger events in the future to help raise money for the hospital.
Tour was fun, friendly and fast
May 17, 2004
It’s kind of sad when you leave the Tour. This was one of the best years because all my friends were there. Tanith and Ben, Timmy, Johnny and Nicole. There were a lot of younger people, and we all had a great time hanging out and going places together.
When I went to New Jersey, Dakota Fanning came to the show. She said she was a big fan of skating. I was a little star struck. We had a nice talk and exchanged autographs.
I got sick in Chicago and tried to get healthy by the time we got to Colorado. That was a beautiful trip. Timmy, Nicole and I hung out together. My friend Jeremy Bloom visited me in Colorado and we went out to lunch one day.
When we got to California we didn’t have much time to do things. I got to see Tiffany Stiegler when she put me on a flight to Seattle. We would shop a little before the show one day, travel to another city and then do the show the next day. At Anaheim we had a 7:15 a.m. call to get on the bus to the arena.
Sometimes I would buy things, but most of the time we just shopped. I bought my mother a nice purse. I would shop mostly for jeans — 7 Jeans are my favorites — and sweat suits.
In San Francisco we went to one of the top French restaurants, Fleur De Lys, in the world. It was beautiful with velvet draped interior with gorgeous fabric. I had a Grand Marnier Soufflé for dessert that was wonderful.
The last night of the tour, Tommy Collins took us all to McDonald’s after the show. It was quite a scene to see all the figure skaters hanging out and eating at 12:30 a.m.!
Theatre on Ice; Send me your ideas
April 12, 2004
Since the Tour began I’ve been having a great time although my body is a little tired.
The “My Fair Lady” program is going great. The film is a great story and Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous. Robin and I have put the finishing touches on it.
This is a new step up for me. It’s like theatre on ice. Skating to this number on the Champions On Ice Tour helps me learn showmanship and be ready with lights and different situations in different arenas.
“My Fair Lady” is longer than any program I have done. I have a 20-30 second piece in the opening cast number. It goes really fast. Sara Kawahara choreographed it and she kept saying, “go, go, go” during our practices.
I don’t get to warm up like a competition and because of the travel there’s less time to keep in competitive shape. I’ve learned to use a shorter time for stretching and warm- up.
On the Tour you learn to live with a big family, and you become more independent and more responsible. I’ve learned how to take care of myself.
I haven’t had much down time. Usually some of us will go shopping together or go out for lunch. I don’t buy much while on Tour, maybe a shirt or something small so it fits into my bag.
I am meeting with my Web masters this week and we’ll be discussing ideas. I am very interested in your ideas. Please e-mail me with your suggestions.
A season in review
April 10, 2004
As I look back on this season, it was successful. It wasn’t perfect, but I look at the improvement and am happy with that. I Won several Grand Prix events, got Silver at the GP Final, Nationals and Worlds and then finished with a win at the Pro-Am. I put out so many good performances this year, and I am improving a lot.
I am so thrilled to be working with Robin. I adore her and look forward to the new programs and next year’s competitions with Robin.
The long program at the Marshall’s Challenge was my best of the season. It was a great finish and a great moment for Robin and me. As the program progressed, and I kept nailing all the elements, it felt strong. With each element you do, the more the excitement builds, and you know everything is going really well.
We went in with a different approach and just pushed through the entire program.
The standing ovation was really sweet, and I didn’t want to get off the ice. I just wanted to stay there for 20 minutes and soak it in. It’s such a great feeling.
There were so many strong ladies in the competition.
I think I over-planned with so many competitions this season. I won’t be doing that again.
I’ve got to go practice for another Champions On Ice show. I will have several days off and will be looking for an apartment in New York. I’ve looked at some places in New Jersey. But this is my first time in real estate and want to pick a place I like.
I’ll post another journal over the weekend and talk about the “My Fair Lady” program.
Thanks for all your support, especially the e-mails
April 1, 2004
Sasha shows her Silver Medal
I want to thank all my fans for the great support you gave me at Worlds. The e-mails were wonderful and so many!
Congratulations to Fiona, Heine and Fabian for the beautiful wallpapers. They are now displayed on my wallpaper page. I’m sending Heine and Fabian an autographed picture, too.
I think it’s really sweet that I have such great support from so many fans. It shows that people like your skating and what you’re doing. It’s nice to read your notes when there are hard days and it helps put things in perspective.
I start the Champions On Ice tour on Saturday. But on Friday, for the first time ever, I am going to share with my fans the program I have selected, how I chose the music, my costume and how Robin and I put it together. I won’t give any clues but it’s one of my all-time favorite pieces of music. Look for it Friday!
It’s wonderful to medal for the first time at Worlds. Actually I got three medals at Worlds! A gold (winning the short program), a silver (finishing second) and bronze (for third place in the free skate! It was really nice to stand up on the podium and see the U.S. flags up there and just be a part of the competition. There were so many strong performances in all the events. It was an amazing World Championships to be a part of.
I guess you saw I had a new outfit for the final free skate. Badgley Mischka of New York designed it. They do a lot of designs for Vogue and lots of other magazines. The dress was beautiful.
Robin and I thought we would try a surprise and we had something new made. We started a great relationship with the designer so I think we will work with them again in the future.
It’s really tough to get on the Worlds podium. I’ve been fourth and it was such a strong group of women this year so it felt good to move up. I look back at my whole season and was happy with some things and not so happy with some things. But when I look back, I did really well for myself. I was on the podium for every event this year. I won gold throughout the Grand Prix and silver in three other big competitions at the end of the year. So I look at the season as not perfect but as a success.
I think Robin was helpful with the performances. We did a lot of work since Nationals. Robin said she was proud of my performances and I would definitely say having Robin is a plus. I can’t wait to work on the new short program next year.
The trip to Germany was good but the food wasn’t so good. I made do on the breakfast but there weren’t many restaurants we could visit in Dortmund. The nice thing was we could walk to the rink. That meant we had an easy time watching other competitors and watching other events.
My room was small but nicely done. The arena was beautiful.
Robin and I were pretty funny in the restaurants. We didn’t speak any German and most of the people there didn’t speak any English so we were making caricatures and basically doing charades at dinner to order. We were making animals and things and we had a pretty fun time ordering. We went to a steak house and a cool Mongolian place where you take all the different vegetables and meat separately and cook it
There’s one more competition, a pro-am, next week in Rhode Island. The field is definitely strong. We’re not going to be in shape so it should really be interesting!
March 29, 2004
Thank you so much for all your support through e-mails last week at Worlds.
I will post a journal as soon as things settle down.
You’re the best fans in the world and you provided me with a lot of inspiration.
Getting ready for competitions
March 23, 2004
I’ve been asked what my schedule is like during competitions, and I thought Worlds would be a good time to explain what I do.
I wake up in the morning and do my stomach and back exercises. Then I go to the rink and warm up. I have a big breakfast in the morning. I practice and then come back to my room and have a big meal right after my practice.
When I’m in my room, I rest for an hour. I just relax. Then I get ready for my competition. I do my hair and makeup, and then it’s back to the rink to compete.
Most of the time we usually perform at night, and you kind of have to set your internal clock later and get yourself awake again in the evening. It’s a little more difficult, but it’s great because you’re also warmed up well at that time. At Worlds I have qualifying in the morning because it’s such a big group of women, plus they’re having competitions in the evening.
I have learned to adapt to my surroundings.
When I have to adapt to a new time zone, within eight hours, I can do that with no problem. I just make sure to stay up during the day and get some sleep at the right time and eat the meals at the right time, and I can adjust pretty fast. Within two days I am on my routine. The first day the travel day is tough, but after that it’s normal.
I want to skate a strong, good program in the qualifying round. It will help me get the feel of the ice throughout the competition. The qualifying round is a learning gauge. You get a feel for what the audience will be like, how the judges will be and it helps you get ready for the short.
Traveling to Worlds
March 17, 2004
I leave for Worlds Friday with my mom and Robin. The media hype is just beginning. I did a conference call with writers last Friday. The USFSA sets them up as a conference call. I call at a certain time and the media who want to ask me questions can do so. That’s a good way to get a lot of the interviews out of the way before I arrive in Germany. The conference calls last long enough for everybody to ask several questions.
Last week most of the questions were about my training with Robin since Nationals and whether I was going to do anything new with my program. Most of it I already discussed in my journals. There were no surprise questions.
I was happy with one question asking about my posting a journal each week. The writer was complimenting my fans for their support. I told him mail and e-mails keep me in touch with fans and they cheer me up coming into a competition and after I have competed.
I’m basically packed. I think the weather is similar to here so I pack of lot of options. I have my choice of what I want to wear each day. So I usually pack two weeks’ worth of clothes.
Robin and I will pack some of our food. I will probably bring a lot of cereal with me. We will do some grocery shopping when we get there and buy some fruit and nuts. Robin will bring her tuna fish.
Pets are a lot of fun
March 7, 2004
I was reviewing the questions I have been asked most frequently about my pets and remembered Meredith’s from Central, New Jersey, and Connie’s from Manchester, Michigan. Meredith and Connie asked about my cats Meow and Mia.
Lately I’ve been asked about other pets I would like. I never liked snakes, fish or pets like iguanas. I always wanted something soft and fuzzy.
Actually I always wanted a monkey! I always thought it would be really neat to have a little monkey sitting on your shoulder. Monkeys are very intelligent, and I think a monkey would be a fun pet to have. But a monkey wasn’t going to go over with my parents too well, so I settled for a cat!
As I mentioned to Meredith, I love kitties!
When I was about eight years old my mom and I would walk by this pet shop every week, and I would stop and look at the kittens. I would get to hold the kittens and puppies. I always wanted a cat because when you pick them up, they kind of just fall into the shape of your arms. One day we stopped and I got to hold the kittens and puppies. Meow was cute and friendly and had a lot of energy. When we held her she was playful and alert and she purred a lot.
Mom bought me Meow, a Himalayan.
I like cats because they make you earn their trust. They’re not literally trusting, they’ve got to get to know you and kind of see if they can trust you. And once they do, it’s really special, like when the cat follows you around or it comes to sit next to you or sleeps with you at night.
Mia came the year before the Olympics. I convinced my mom it wouldn’t be a big deal because it would be just as easy to fill two bowls of food.
Mia is a very friendly cat and will easily come up to people.
We have a white rug at home that’s sheepskin, and when Mia sits on the rug, it’s a complete camouflage and you can’t even see her. That’s always cute when sits on that.
They all travel well, and I have taken Mia with me to some competitions.
Natasha wanted her own pet and liked puppies so she got a Pomeranian. They are breeds that are sometimes cautious around strangers and other animals. Mocha, Mia and Meow get along well. They’re all friendly and ignore each other.
They’re all fun to play with. We have cat treats and whenever we accidentally knock it over or shake it a little bit, no matter where the pets are in the house, Mocha, Mia and Meow will all come running within two seconds to whoever has the cat treats and start begging.
Being on a magazine cover is special
March 1, 2004
This is my first cover for International Figure Skating magazine. A lot of the pictures used were from a photo shoot we did right after the Champions On Ice Tour last year. We’ll do another photo shoot after the Tour this year.
It’s fun to be on the cover because it’s exciting and so totally different from being inside. It’s pretty special. I collect all the covers of the magazines so some day I can look back on my career and appreciate what I’ve accomplished.
It’s neat when someone asks you to sign their magazine. It’s very flattering.
I don’t usually prepare for interviews. I answer the questions about what is going on in my life and give the writers honest answers to what I’m doing.
Mr. Nicks used to hold mini press conferences in his office with novice and junior skaters just for fun and you kind of experienced what it would be like. They were fun and I think they prepared us for what the media would be like.
I also have to thank my English teachers for making me watch my grammar and writing lots of essays!
We’re within a month of Worlds and we’re doing a lot more intensive training. There’s not much time to look for a place to live in the city, but we’ll do that after the Tour.
We’ve changed the long program a little bit by adding in some new cuts of music.
We’re putting in a lot of work on speed and working on my strengths and flow consistency. We want to polish my programs so they are second nature to me.
We’ll be working the next few weeks on getting completely focused on Worlds.
An update on skating
February 19, 2004
Robin and I have gotten to know each other really well over the past month and a half. We’ve found lots of areas we can tell there’s been improvement and that’s great. We both feel like I’ve built up my basic skills, and when we put it all together in the program, it’s going to make a big difference.
You always want to improve on basic skills because that’s the base of your skating and what you build on. It’s your foundation. The stronger you can make it, the stronger your skating will be.
Robin is teaching me to really use my edges and get more power from the ice. I can definitely tell when I’m using my edges more. I’m learning how to use edges in different ways and to get a lot of speed from different steps that I’ve never known you could get speed from.
A lot of balance, control of edge work and power from the edges are where I’m re-educating myself.
The intensity on ice has definitely been building since Nationals, and we’re starting to work more intensely on jumping and harder practices. It will continue to build until Worlds.
We do work on combinations, on sequences and putting the jumps together. We try to emulate what’s it’s going to be like when you do them in the program.
We work a lot on double-triples and triple-doubles and your base technique. You don’t do that many, but you just try to make sure you use the right technique and correct timing.
When you’re doing triple-triples, you’re trying to achieve more flow, and you have to feel comfortable on your brand new blades to be able to do a triple for the first jump. For the first jump you need a lot of speed and a good landing to do the second triple for the combination.
The more you can make muscle memory, the better. I think all the steps are muscle memory. You use thinking to just guide your body and reinforce what you have learned.
A lot of the combinations come from muscle memory. But it’s a split-second decision to know when to safely pull out of the second triple in combination. Sometimes you don’t know until you’re at least in the air on the first jump. I think the second you hit the ice after the first triple you know whether you’ve got the speed, if you’re forward or crooked.
When you do something great while performing, you have to block out whatever has already happened and focus on what you are doing right then. For example you say, “OK, I’m stepping into this sequence of crossovers and the next element I’m already focused on”.
I think it’s best not to stop and think about having a great program when you’re competing. I think you can feel it with each jump. When you kind of jump, jump, jump, jump you don’t really think about it. It’s noticeable when you have a rest in the program or a little break from jumping.
I’ll spend my weeks in Long Island
February 15, 2004
I’ve decided to stay with Robin and Jerry during the week while training in New Jersey. I will go home on weekends.
We just decided that I can have a more consistent training schedule. It will be better at one place, and I can get a consistent rhythm. We have found everything in Long Island and are set up there pretty well.
I really like Robin’s house. I have my own separate area. I have plenty of space and it’s very comfortable. I wasn’t sure how it would be, but I really like it now.
Robin doesn’t cook at all. I’m showing her how and it’s fun. We make simple things. We get by. We eat a lot of snacks! And we go out to dinner a lot.
Robin and I haven’t had time yet to do a lot of things together. She has shown me a beautiful mall in Long Island. We get home so late and we leave so early for practice, there’s little time for anything else.
It takes about one hour and fifteen minutes from Robin’s home to the rink. It’s a little far and there’s a little bit of traffic. I thought it would be pretty tough, but I actually like it. When we get to the place I say “Oh, we’re already there”. It is tough, but I enjoy it and it makes it a lot easier.
During the week there’s a lot of training, but I get the weekends off. The ice is good but the rink is very, very cold, unfortunately, so I have learned to layer a lot. We have lots of ice time, which is great. We share ice with a couple of other people, but it’s not crowded at all, and it’s nice to have a few people to bring the energy up on the session.
I can’t say that I have enjoy the snow and cold this year. And I can’t say I don’t like it at all. But it’s there and I will say I’ve gotten use to it. I layer on clothes to be warm and get to wear all my turtlenecks!
I have become quite a coat person. I use to own one coat! Now I have about 10 different overcoats!
Sasha spending Valentine’s Day with friends
February 13, 2004
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m planning to spend Valentine’s Day with some friends. We’ll find a nice restaurant and have a great dinner. Then we’ll probably go to someone’s house and watch a movie.
I’ll be home Friday night and will have dinner with my family. Then I’ll go out for Valentine’s and Sunday pack and get ready to travel back to Robin’s place.
I’ve been working hard with Robin and have seen a lot of improvement in my basic skills. I’m feeling my edges better and seeing a difference in my speed.
I think I have counted the restaurants on Long Island, and I will bet they’re 90 percent Italian! There are so many and they are so good! I eat healthy. I usually get steamed or white fish like halibut, and vegetables.
We went to a really good Chinese restaurant last week where I had steamed sea bass and bok choy.
When we decide to cook, we usually pick up fresh vegetables, a side dish and something for a main dish. It’s usually something we can make fast because it’s late by the time we get home.
When I get home for the weekends, I always ask mom to make one of my favorite dishes. My mom makes a delicious chicken curry and her roast duck is fabulous.
A couple of weeks ago she made a soufflé that was great! I got real excited and asked her to make it again, soon.
I love New York!
February 7, 2004
It takes a little over two hours, without traffic, to get to (New York) city or New Jersey.
We try to stay at different places every time we come up. I come up on Sunday, go back home on Wednesday, and I work with Robin for two sessions while I am up there.
Whenever I go, I pack my pillow. I always pack food wherever I go, too. I am really picky with what I eat. I don’t like to be going anywhere without my food. I travel with a lot of different fruit, cereal, different breads. I brought some different salads and wild oats and yogurt. Now I’m set up snack-wise at the rink, because I don’t have time to have lunch. Basically my schedule calls for a lot of snacking.
Sometimes I am on the phone or sometimes I watch a movie on my laptop. I read or a lot of times I will talk with my mom on the way up. I was going to watch “Maid In Manhattan” this time up, but I left the DVD at home! So I’m going to watch it next time.
We don’t talk much about skating. When I’m off the ice, I’m pretty much away from the ice with my mind as well, and then when I get back to the ice, I am 100 percent focused.
I think experience and preparation has taught me to leave the skating at the rink. I think you should give yourself a rest and then work really hard when you’re at the rink. But basically I have a lot to think about: a show program, trying to make sketches for dresses, getting in touch with my dress maker, getting new blades and just kind of making a lot of calls and getting things set up. Basically it’s a new era at this point.
I like to watch comedies and romantic comedies. Right now I’m reading “The Secret Life of Bees” written by Sue Monk Kidd, which had been on the best seller list for almost two years. I just try to pick up different books to read. It’s hard to read a book because I start reading when I’ve got time, and then I get all over the place and lose track of the book, and it’s hard to get back into it. It’s just fun to read each night before I go to bed.
I always love picking up a magazine and looking at the dresses and photographs. There are a lot of great ideas for skating costumes. I love beautiful dresses so they’re always fun to look at. It’s always fun to watch the shows like the Golden Globes because you get to see all the outfits, different styles of makeup and hair. And it’s fun!
It’s actually a pretty easy drive when there’s no traffic. It’s not bad at all. We’re pretty much in the car until we get to where we’re going. As far as landmarks, we see Manhattan as we go in over the bridge to New Jersey. And there are a lot of trees between Connecticut and Manhattan!
It’s just gorgeous everytime we see the skyline of Manhattan. You get the sense of the excitement. And I have such an amazing appreciation for New York City. Every time I see it, I get excited. It’s not really overwhelming. There are so many different sections of New York, and it’s so personable when you walk into the streets. It has character and a lot of life. For me it’s just the perfect place.
I never could have imagined I would be living in New York City when I was in California. I kind of thought about it when I was in Connecticut. But in California I never really thought about it. And I think it’s going to be amazing and a wonderful experience for me.
What my mom and I have been talking a lot about lately on the rides is where we’re going to live in New York. We’re getting ideas, we’re looking in the paper for apartments in the city. We’re looking at rentals and just finding out a lot about the city and trying to decide where to live.
We’re looking for the upper West Side so we can get easy access over the bridge to Hackensack. And we’re just starting to read about it and the next step will be to find a broker and start looking at places. Robin also gave my mom some names of people to talk to.
We haven’t talked about furnishing it yet. Once we try to find a place and where it will be, we’ll worry about filling it in. We’re pretty laid back at this point. We’ve got until my sister gets out of school.
We bring a lot of warm clothes for the stay, and we have been doing a lot of heavy layering. I’ve been looking for a new pair of boots. They were all sold out of Ugg boots until April so I bought a pair of Emu boots. They look exactly like Uggs and I wear them now like every single day because they are made out of sheepskin. My feet have been so warm!
February 2, 2004
Sasha and Natasha enjoy spending time together, especially shopping together.
Natasha is a sophomore at a private school this year in Farmington. When we get together we do a lot of things. This past weekend I dropped her off at a friend’s house one night. We worked out together on Sunday and we did a little bit of shopping. We came home and had dinner together and then we watched “Sex in the City”.
Natasha didn’t like ice skating. She said it was too cold!
While I was skating Natasha was in school, and I would be home a lot of times when she would come home. It didn’t feel too different, as if we were going to school together.
Natasha didn’t think she would like the move from California to Connecticut at first. Then she got kind of excited for a change of scenery, and she was really excited when she got to go to Miss Porter’s and she really loves it there now.
She is speaking Spanish and understands a little bit of Russian.
We go to New York on weekends as a family and walk around. We do a little bit of shopping, see Broadway shows and eat at nice restaurants.
Natasha is a very, very good piano player, and she has gotten back to practicing every day. I don’t know where Natasha is going with it, but I know she likes song writing and may get into that.
She’s done a few competitions, and I’ve come to a couple of them. It’s very different from a skating competition!
I played the piano when I was eight or nine years old, just for a little time, like maybe a year. I wasn’t too good, but my sister started because I was playing and then I kind of stopped and she kept at it.
Apparently playing the piano wasn’t my thing. Later on I tried violin, which wasn’t my thing either, but the experience was fun.
It’s nice that we have our separate interests so we can do our own thing. We’re both pretty creative, and I think we’re very different, but we have a lot in common.
Natasha travels a lot with us, especially when we go to different places. And we go on family vacations. For the most part, Natasha likes being at home with her friends and going to school. We go plenty of places all the time.
When we get together on weekends, actually we both do things with our friends. I will run some errands and chill at home and then we just do some things together.
We have similar interests. We love going to movies together like romantic comedies, and we have a few favorite TV shows we watch together. And then shopping. We always love shopping!
Natasha loves clothes and makeup, and she’s very fashion conscious. She is very much like I am in that sense.
She always wishes me good luck when I go to a competition. She tells me to have fun and skate well and when I come back we’re going to do this, this and this. She is very supportive.
Natasha is very independent.
Sometimes we share things like jewelry. I usually like to stay with the same earrings, rings and necklace.
We do a lot of cooking together, especially when we have breaks. Usually my mom and dad do the cooking and I help out a bit. Natasha is usually doing her homework through the year. My sister likes cooking but she hasn’t got into it full swing yet.
I think it’s pretty neat now that we are both more mature and we can go out together during the day and go shopping and do our own things and we don’t have to rely on our parents to take us around. We’re pretty independent in that sense, and it makes it a lot of fun.
Sometimes I am the guide but she has a little more time to shop than I do. Sometimes she will go to a place and say ‘we’ve got to go back’ and then we’ll go back together to certain stores.
Preparing for Champions On Ice Tour
January 27, 2004
While Robin and I are training, we’re also beginning to think of something special and new for the Champions On Ice tour. We’ll be making a new show number and then have to order a new dress.
There will be a lot of thinking and skating over the next two weeks. I think I will definitely be sketching some designs. We’ll have to see if we’re going to make it or work with a designer on the dress. We’re still figuring out some music for the show. It feel like we’ve been listening to thousands of CDs.
The Champions On Ice Tour is a lot of fun, and when you make a number you have to be creative for the Tour. It’s going to be a chance to try something new, and it’s a place where great skaters have a chance to grow and to really explore their own skating.
You can have a lot of fun with the crowd at the same time. So you can pretty much do anything you ever dreamed of, put it out there without any rules or regulations and just go out and entertain.
It’s a lot of hustling. You have to get your number done in time and then make sure that you have a chance to prepare because usually the Tour starts the day after Worlds. And you’re not really focused on your show program at that particular time. And then you just hope you just get your outfit in on time. That’s always really tough because there’s a deadline to try to get your dressmaker to work with you. But it usually works.
High energy on the ice
January 26, 2004
It’s great working with Robin on the ice. She is awesome. Robin is a real pick-me-up personality and it helps me during my sessions as well.
It’s really enjoyable with Robin skating with me. It makes the energy of the skating session higher and more fun. I probably get tired first because Robin has everlasting energy!
She gets out there and skates with me and she pushes me. That really helps with the overall quality of my stroking and skating because I try to imitate what she does.
She’s great with all figures and moves. Robin can show me what I’m doing wrong and we might need to try to do it. I’m a real visual learner so that helps.
Robin doesn’t do jumps! But she is amazing with scratch spins and stroking.
I think we will probably play some when we get to put our first show program together. I think we’ll have a great time.
In the morning I get up and warm up and skate for an hour and fifteen minutes, take an hour and a half break and then skate for another hour and fifteen minutes. I will cool down and go home. Some days I do Pilates and some days work with a trainer or have physical therapy. And sometimes, on my days off, I just have fun shopping.
Practice days I am on the ice about two and a half hours.
I usually bring my lunch with me to the rink. I have cereal for breakfast and we go out to dinner and try new places. It’s a lot of fun. There’s like 10,000 restaurants in New York so we always try to go to a different place each night.
A new training schedule
January 20, 2004
I practice Monday through Wednesday in Hackensack, N.J. and practice Friday and Saturday in Simsbury, Conn. I come up half the week, and we stay in the city, and Robin comes down for the other two days. This week we’re staying with the Petrenkos. It’s weird because each week we’re trying to figure out where to stay.
It’s not hard at all. It’s fun because Viktor has so much energy, and I love Nina, and I’m getting to know different places around here. It’s a really fun time for me. It’s a little bit tough going between Connecticut and New York. But since we’re making only one drive up one day and another on the way back, it’s not a big problem.
My mother comes with me, and will until I get the hang of it, to help me adjust.
We’re going to do a lot of basic skating and improve my stroking. We’re thinking about music for a show program and about ways to improve my competitive program.
We’re going to try to get the quality of my skating higher so it really flows throughout the program and see if we can up the difficult content in my long. I know I am able to do a higher quality program. We want to put out a triple-triple, and we’ll really be working on that.
I haven’t tried the triple axel yet. Robin and I really want to start working on the quad again. We don’t have the time now but right after (Champions On Ice) Tour, we’ll have lots of time.
I keep growing, and I don’t ever want to be comfortable with what I have. And I want to see how far I can go. My triples have been very consistent. We’re going to try continue working on the triple-triple to put into the long.
Buying tutlenecks and long underwear!
January 19, 2004
Oh my gosh, it was so cold last week! It was about five degrees one day. Believe me it’s cold!
My friends from California came here Saturday and Sunday, so I was really excited to see them. We showed them around Connecticut, but it’s so cold!!! You can’t really do so much outside.
I actually bought a pair of long underwear last week. And when I went shopping, I bought like ten turtlenecks. And I can’t believe it, because like all the shops already have bathing suits and spring wear! I’m thinking ‘what are they doing, it’s still freezing!’
We drove my friends around the city on Sunday. They wanted to see New York because they’ve never been there. We drove them to Times Square, Fifth Avenue, SoHo, and they had a great time, and we had so much fun. They could not believe how cold it was! They were in shock. They put on so many layers.
We were only in New York for about four to five hours because they had to take the train back home.
The weather is nice today. It’s really beautiful. It’s a little cold, but I’m layering up and it’s much better.
Today I’m shopping for Ugg boots because they’re all sold out in Connecticut and back-ordered until April. I need to find some because my feet are so cold here.
Looking back at Nationals
January 14, 2004
Thank you for all your support at Nationals and the wonderful e-mails of support.
This is a special journal to you, because I want to tell you my thoughts on Nationals.
Sunday at the exhibition the crowd was awesome. I skated really well, and the audience was great so it was a great day.
I’ve been thinking about the Nationals, and I still haven’t gotten a chance to see the tape yet. I really want to go back and analyze it. People have told me a lot of great things about my short and the way I approached it, and I really want to see that and kind of store that in my memory bank.
For the long I’m still kind of analyzing it – kind of thinking, why? Because all my programs at practice were pretty much perfect. And when I go back I remember I was really, really drained after the short program. On Friday I didn’t really jump in practice because I was just recuperating.
It was tough for me getting my strength back. I had pretty much forgotten about it, but about the day before I switched coaches I got shingles. I was having a stressful time. I was really, really sick and on a lot of medications with the shingles. And then I got my strength back and my Mom actually talked to a doctor who said he was so surprised that I was even able to skate and have that strength.
I think that affected me in having the strength in the long program and probably being a little bit tired. So I kind of look at that, I kind of accept that and let that go.
I was surprised I had it (shingles) and so was everyone else. We asked if the doctor was sure because it’s something that happens to older people. I guess that maybe I had gotten so weak after competing, after being sick and after a couple of stressful competitions. It was bad for a while, but it got better for Nationals.
It’s also a time that’s a little hard for me because I can’t completely get over Nationals. I kind of learned that to feel that way is not going to help you out, and I’ve got to put that behind me and look toward my future and see everything that I can possibly do and to do everything I want to do at Worlds. I do a lot of training and a lot of hard work, and I already feel pretty confident going into Worlds.
It is tough sometimes, but you’ve got to move on and the more I compete, the more that I realize it’s a lot about the process. As wonderful as it would be to win a National title, my whole life won’t change because of that. So you just have to keep finding motivation and new ways to keep improving. I think that’s what’s so great with Robin. I think we’re going to improve so much. And the stronger I get and the more I improve in skating, the more I’ll learn about the process and about competing.
I know I am a good skater. I’m know I’m getting to that point that I’m almost there about figuring out how to put out more consistently good performances. And I think I kind of figured out the mental aspect of it. And right now we’re just fine-tuning the physical part and making sure my strength is always there for me.
When you compare a lot of those things, it kind of reestablishes confidence in yourself. And then I can say,”‘You know what, I’m still a great skater and hope I can do great programs.” I was strong out there for myself but I was physically still recovering.
Robin was awesome. She was so supportive, and I think she really helped me get through that time going up to Nationals. She got me really well prepared. I’m learning so much about her and I’m so excited about the next two months.
Before, it was kind of Robin watching me and letting me train and kind of getting me comfortable. Now it’s going to be about improvement and her chance to shine and show what she can really do.
Sasha ready for special week in Atlanta
January 4, 2004
I hope everyone and their family had a happy New Year and will have a healthy 2004.
I just got home from a three-hour ride for my final training session with Robin before leaving for Nationals at Atlanta. We practiced near Robin this weekend.
Tonight I will pack, tomorrow morning I will have breakfast and then drive to the airport for the flight to Atlanta.
I’m excited about Nationals and going to Atlanta with Robin. I feel like I’m well prepared and rested.
I hope you will visit my Web site this week. I’ve planned something for everyday. Monday I will explain how I choose my music. Tuesday I will talk about how my programs are choreographed and some changes in the programs this week.
Wednesday I will discuss how my Swan Lake and Malaguena dresses were designed from start to finish.
Hope to see a lot of you in Atlanta.
A family holiday
January 1, 2004
My holidays were great. My whole family was here, and we were cooking like crazy. We cooked a lot of Martha Stewart dishes, because she has a lot of good recipes. And I did bake this year. I downscaled from last year, because I didn’t quite have as much time. But I still had a great time. My mom made truffles, and we just enjoyed the holiday season.
I baked some cookies and gave them to some of the people at the rink. And other than that, we were pretty busy.
I really enjoy baking, and it’s always a lot of fun for me. And I love eating cookie dough! After I make it, I do a lot of tasting. Pretty much every kind of dough I love.
We went into the City on Friday night. I trained on Saturday and then went out for a dinner on Saturday night with all my grandparents and my great uncle and aunt.
We went to the Atelier in the Ritz-Carlton. It was like a multi-course menu. One of the favorite things I had was scallops. For dessert I had like a chocolate cake, chocolate Napoleon and chocolate ice cream and white chocolate mousse.
I don’t think Robin has seen how much I love sweets yet. I pretty much get everything, but eat really small amounts. I actually had dinner with her tonight, and I had crème brulee, but I just kind of ate off the top. I do eat everything, but I don’t really finish anything. I’m sure Robin watches her weight as well. We’re kind of a good pair because when we go to restaurants, we both order very similar things. We both say we want steamed vegetables, we want this grilled and put this on the side.
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