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The Latest From U.S. Figure Skating: Cohen's Return Along With A Coaching Change, Retirement and Benefit Show

Cohen Ready to Challenge for Spot on U.S. Olympic Team

Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, three-time World medalist and six-time U.S. medalist, announced on May 8 she will return to competitive figure skating following a three-year absence from competition for Cohen.

“This is a decision I have thought long and hard about for the last few months,” Cohen said. “I know this year will have its ups and downs, but I miss the challenge and am very excited to represent the United States in competition again.”

Cohen last competed at the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships, where she won the bronze.

“U.S. Figure Skating is pleased to welcome Sasha back to the world of competitive figure skating,” said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating. “This is a great addition to what is already a very deep field of talent for the U.S. ladies.”

Cohen has stayed busy since her second-place finish at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. She played herself in an episode of “Las Vegas,” guest-judged an episode of Bravo’s “Project Runway,” played a role in an episode of “CSI: New York” and had a part in the 2006 independent film “Moondance Alexander.”

“I’d like to thank everyone for their faith and support in me,” Cohen said. “"Yes, there are a lot of great skaters right now, but this is more of a personal thing for me. I miss the challenge and I miss that part of my life.”

Read our exclusive interview with Cohen.

Inoue and Baldwin Team Up with Meno and Sand

The U.S. pairs team of Rena Inoue and John Baldwin recently announced that they will begin training with Jenni Meno and Todd Sand. Inoue and Baldwin were previously coached by Phillip Mills. “We are so lucky to have the opportunity to work with one of the most accomplished teams in the history of the sport,” Inoue said.

The 2006 Olympians say they feel confident that the change will lead to a successful season. “We are honored that they have accepted the challenge of coaching us through the next Olympic Games,” Baldwin said. “We have always looked up to Jenni and Todd as a pair, and we see many similarities between their career and ours both on and off the ice.”

Meno and Sand competed together for six seasons, winning three U.S. championships (1994-96) and three World medals (one silver, two bronze), and skating in two Olympic Winter Games (1994, 1998). They coached two teams at the 2009 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships: seniors Lindsay Davis and Alexander Merritt (12th) and novices Tori Vollmer and Zack Sidhu (fifth).

Inoue and Baldwin trained under Mills for the past two years, during which time they won two U.S. medals: silver in 2008 and bronze last season.

“We thank Phillip Mills from the bottom of our hearts for taking us on the last two seasons,” Baldwin said. “We will always remember what we accomplished through his guidance.”

With Meno and Sand, the team will train at facilities in Aliso Viejo and Yorba Linda, Calif.

Vicki Korn To Retire

Miami University announced today the retirement of synchronized skating coach Vicki Korn, a three-time PSA Synchronized Skating Coach of the Year and originator of the nation’s first collegiate senior-level synchronized skating program.

“After 25 years of service to Miami, it is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the synchronized skating program and the university,” Korn said. “I am extremely proud of the program and all of its accomplishments, which were built by years of undying dedication to the sport of synchronized skating.”

Korn joined Miami in 1984 as its skating director and coach of the synchronized skating program at the club level. She guided Miami to a U.S. junior title in 1993 and two bronze medals at the senior level (1994-95).

Under Korn’s direction, Miami’s synchronized skating team, the RedHawks, became the nation’s first senior collegiate synchronized skating program, capturing three U.S. titles at the senior level (1999, 2006, 2009) and 11 U.S. titles at the collegiate level (1997-98, 2000-03, 2005-09).

In 2007, Korn’s senior team made U.S. synchronized skating history at the ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships in London, Ontario, Canada, where it finished second to become the first-ever U.S. team to medal at the event. The RedHawks remain the only U.S. team with that distinction and have earned a berth to compete at the World Synchronized Championships eight of the last nine years.

“Her impact on the sport, but, more specifically, on Miami and the tradition of excellence she has built here, is immeasurable,” said Brad Bates, Miami director of athletics. “Her work with our synchronized skaters epitomizes our mission to develop champions with love and honor, and have our student-athletes leave Miami University with a prestigious degree and championship jewelry.”

Korn plans to remain involved in synchronized skating. “I look forward to a new career of consulting, running clinics and directing camps to further promote the sport that I love so much,” she said.

'Skate for Life' Spectacular Planned

The Hoover Arena in Strongsville, Ohio, will be the venue for Parker Pennington’s second annual “Skate for Life” spectacular on June 27. He will be joined by reigning U.S. ladies champion Alissa Czisny.

The show will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Pennington was inspired to start the ice show after his father was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 1999. 'Skate for Life' raised over $21,000 for MDA in 2008.

The 2009 cast includes Canadian star Jennifer Robinson, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukov, and Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig. Several up-and-coming U.S. ice dance teams -- reigning World junior champions Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein, and 2008 national champions Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell -- are also taking part in the show. For more information, visit the event website.