Cohen, Meissner, Kwan Nominated To 2006 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team

Sasha Cohen
Photo by Paul Harvath

See all the action from the 2006 State Farm U.S. Championships

(1/14/06) - The U.S. Figure Skating International Committee announced today the nomination of Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner and Michelle Kwan to the 2006 United States Olympic Team, pending USOC approval. Cohen and Meissner placed first and second at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships in St. Louis, Mo., respectively.

“The International Committee considered all of the relevant information and picked the best possible U.S. Olympic Team to represent the United States in Torino,” International Committee Chair Bob Horen said. “We believe that Sasha, Kimmie and Michelle will compete in a manner that will make our country proud.”

Cohen won her first U.S. title at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday night.

“I made it to the end and stayed on my feet,” Cohen said after getting off the ice. “It wasn't perfect, but it was good. After I started getting into it I started to enjoy it.”

Meissner finished second at the 2006 U.S. Championships, her best placement at the event.

“It's just crazy,” said Meissner about earning an Olympic Team berth. “I've been dreaming about this for a very long time. It's just awesome.

Kwan submitted a petition in accordance with the 2006 U.S. Olympic Athlete Selection Procedures to request the nomination, as she was unable to compete at the event due to injury.

The International Committee made their decision based on the 2006 U.S. Olympic Athlete Selection Procedures and the information submitted in Kwan's petition. They considered all of the relevant information at their meeting following the conclusion of the ladies free skate Saturday night, including the information submitted in Kwan's petition. In the petition, Kwan stated:

“I would be pleased if representatives of USFS attended and observed my practice session in Los Angeles, California on or about January 20th and a run through of my short and long programs, again in California, on January 27th or 28th. The purpose of the latter would be to assure the USFS observers that my programs contain the technical elements necessary for an Olympic level performance, and to give further assurances to the USFS that my prior injury will not prevent me from being physically ready to compete at the highest level at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 21, 2006. Should those USFS representatives, after observing my short and long programs on January 27th or 28th, determine, in their sole discretion, that my programs do not contain the technical elements necessary for an Olympic level performance, or that my prior injury will prevent me from being physically ready to compete at the highest level at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games on February 21, 2006, I will withdraw from the team. Thank you for your consideration.”

The committee granted the petition on this basis: U.S. Figure Skating will name a five-person monitoring committee that will have sole discretion and make a final determination on Kwan's status no later than Jan. 27. The petition states she will withdraw from the team if the monitoring committee determines she is not ready to compete. The final submission of the entire 2006 U.S. Olympic Team roster must be made by the USOC no later than Jan. 30.

Also considered by the committee was a two-page letter by Dr. Ronald S. Kvitne of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, Calif., who rendered a second opinion on Kwan's physical fitness on Thursday, Jan. 12. He was selected to render a second opinion of Kwan's condition by U.S. Figure Skating. The letter stated that in his opinion her recent injury would not “prevent her from participating in the upcoming Olympic program.”

The monitoring committee will include Horen, 1 athlete representative from the International Committee and three international judges, one of which must be a technical controller or technical specialist.

Kwan will be available via a 10-minute telephone call in the press room at the Savvis Center Saturday night. The time is to be determined but will be as close as possible to 12:30 p.m. CST.

U.S. Figure Skating International Committee
Voting members regarding the selection of the 2006 U.S. Olympic ladies figure skating team:

Bob Horen, chair

Sharon Wiggins
Lucy Brennan
Anne Cammett
Wendy Enzmann
Joan Rozolis
Todd Bromley
Roger Glenn
Steve Winkler
Charlie Cyr
Janis Engel
Linda Leaver
Doug Williams
Brittney McConn Bottoms
Danielle Hartsell-Minnis
Ryan Jahnke
Ryan O'Meara
Scott Smith
Robert Kaine
Mark Mitchell
Mitch Moyer
Will Smith
Gale Tanger

2006 Olympic Winter Games Ladies Nominations to the USOC
1. Sasha Cohen
2. Kimmie Meissner
3. Michelle Kwan
1st alternate – Emily Hughes
2nd alternate – Katy Taylor

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