The Inside Edge: Sasha introduces new skate line

Castelli, Shnapir still coming down from high; Fontana, Zimmerman's baby a charmer

Sasha Cohen shows off one of the new skates she developed with Klingbeil.
Sasha Cohen shows off one of the new skates she developed with Klingbeil. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(01/27/2013) - Forty-five minutes after winning the pairs event yesterday, Marissa Castelli was still crying with happiness as she hugged people on the concourse.

"I'm so happy!" she said. "But I can't believe it still. I think if I cry some more, then it might sink in. I should have worn waterproof mascara."

About the weird spin mistake in their free skate, Castelli said, "I thought [Simon] was going to try to catch up on the sit, but when I realized he wasn't, I was like, 'If you're going to take a break, I'm going to take a break!'"

Later, in the hotel, Shnapir said his win still hadn't sunk in.

"I feel like I'm going to wake up in the morning and it will all be a dream," he said.

Sasha's new skates

Sasha Cohen is here, for the first time in several years, with a cute new piece of merchandise in tow. Cohen is launching her own line of skates, in collaboration with Klingbeil.

"We have a rental [skate] and a beginner [skate], something to get someone to start skating," she said. "It's roughly a $90 skate. It comes with a blade. We're also doing a higher-end [skate], once you are working your singles and doubles.

"It's so exciting to be back, to come back to this world that's been so good to me, and be able to create a product to get more people to skate and fall in love with it the same way I fell in love with the sport."

Cohen said when her mother bought her her first pair of skates, she was confused that the boots didn't have blades attached.

"She kept opening boxes, and she was like, 'I'm pretty sure they come with blades. You're tricking me,'" Cohen said. "That's part of why we wanted to have a pretty good quality starter skate that came with blades, that's affordable, so people aren't confused when they're buying their first pair of skates."

Cohen is still into the fashion scene in New York, where she is a student at Columbia University.

"I designed my skating dresses my entire career, and I'm still very much involved in fashion in New York. I'm hosting a few fashion shows, things for fashion week, interviews. It's a big part of the scene in New York, so it's a perfect fit for me."


We were at dinner with a group of choreographers the other night, and we all realized we had a shared love: the Czech-Netherlands choreographer Jiri Kylian. Kylian has been for many years the artistic director of the Nederlands Dans Theater in the Hague.

Garrett Kling, an up-and-coming choreographer and finalist in the most recent Young Artists Showcase, told us, "I first found him through searching for the tribute piece for Young Artists Showcase. I found his piece 'Falling Angels,' which is an all-female dance which uses just percussive rhythms, with unique shapes and bounding movement."

Massimo Scali and Kate McSwain agreed with us about the perfection of Kylian's piece "Petite Mort," which Drew had just seen live in New York City, performed by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

"Fede and I were actually very inspired by 'Petite Mort' when we created our Yentl program in 2008," Scali said.

To top off the Kylian convo, Sarah mentioned that she will be performing -- singing, not dancing -- in March in an all-Kylian performance by the Boston Ballet.

Kling summed up our love for the choreographer.

"Kylian's musicality is incredible. The movement matches the music perfectly. It's a perfect picture of the music. The shapes are distorted, shapes you wouldn't think would look good: very angular, a lot of hand motifs, a lot of wrist motion."

Oh baby

Silvia Fontana and John Zimmerman have their 9-month-old baby, Sofia, here with them, and she's charming everyone. It's hard to imagine a baby with a cuter smile.

"She's a happy baby," Zimmerman said. "We're very lucky."

The Zimmermans have another baby on the way, due in June. They posed for a picture, and Zimmerman adjusted the front Fontana's coat for her.

"Sorry, we've got a baby situation here!" he said.

Bits and pieces

Rockne Brubaker was hanging out in the hotel after the ladies event. He said he has great hopes of participating in the championships next year.

"I don't have any tryouts scheduled," he said, "But hopefully after nationals, I will."

A few feet away, Amanda Evora was greeting everyone with her usual enthusiasm. We asked if it was hard to be at the event as a coach rather than a competitor.

"Yes, it has been hard," she said, "But I've been preparing for it all year."

The beautiful Madison Hubbell was upbeat after finishing fourth in the dance competition.

"We're going to come back strong next year," she said.

As Evan Lysacek arrived for his press conference Sunday, looking elegant as usual, he was directed to the podium towering over the media.

"This feels a little formal," he said. "If you guys don't mind, I'm going to just come down and sit with you."

And he did.

We hope you saw the thrilling men's free skate on Sunday. We had a wonderful time in Omaha! Congratulations to all the medalists. We'll be back on Tuesday with our "best-dressed" list for the championships.

Sarah and Drew