Sasha Cohen returns to former coach John Nicks

Updated: December 22, 2004, 2:10 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Sasha Cohen is changing coaches again, this time going back to John Nicks.

The 2004 world and U.S. silver medalist said Wednesday she has returned to California to train with Nicks through next month's U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Portland, Ore. Cohen most recently worked with Robin Wagner, who coached Sarah Hughes to the 2002 Olympic gold medal.

"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," Cohen said. "Working with Robin for the past year has been a wonderful experience for me; she is a great coach and friend. She is supportive of my decision to move home to California to be back with my friends and family, and I wish her nothing but the best in the future."

Cohen, 20, who lived in Laguna Niguel, Calif., until she was 17, moved east after the Salt Lake City Olympics, where she finished fourth. She worked with Tatiana Tarasova, who guided Alexei Yagudin to Olympic gold in 2002, then switched a year ago to Wagner.

Now she heads back to Nicks, a no-nonsense coach who often clashed publicly with the sometimes headstrong Cohen when they worked together from 1996-02.

"It is an exciting time for me to be working with Sasha again," Nicks said. "I think it is great that she has returned to her roots, home and friends. I look forward to helping Sasha prepare for U.S. nationals, and I anticipate much success."

Cohen has had moderate success despite surpassing talent. She's never won a major crown -- Olympics, worlds, nationals -- and her inconsistency in those events have made some wonder if she'll ever harness her skills consistently.

She's also been plagued by back problems, including during the current season, when she missed the entire Grand Prix circuits. But she was able to compete in two U.S. events.

"I am enjoying working with Mr. Nicks again to prepare for nationals," Cohen said. "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."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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