Spotlight on Mimi Whetstone & Ben Cohen
Exclusive to Unseen Skaters. May 4, 2003.
The new junior dance team of Mimi Whetstone & Ben Cohen trains in Reston, VA with Scott Myers. Whetstone, 16, is from Oklahoma City, OK. Cohen 17, is from Alexandria, VA.
When and how did you begin skating?
Ben: I began skating when I was five years old after my parents took me to a public session.
Mimi: I started skating when I was 6 1/2. I watched the 1992 Olympics when I was five and started asking my parents to take me skating.
How did you pair up with each other?
Mimi & Ben: We met for the first time about five years ago at Junior Nationals competing against each other with different partners. We kept in touch off and on throughout the years and always admired each others' work ethic and skating abilities. We went to the 2003 pair and dance partner tryout in Texas [after Nationals] where we skated together for the first time. About two weeks after the partner tryouts we skated together again, and just two weeks after that, Mimi moved to Washington where we currently train.
Will you be competing in any club competitions this summer?
Mimi & Ben: We plan to compete at Lake Placid [July 30-Aug. 2, 2003].
What are your long-term goals off the ice?
Mimi & Ben: Our long term goals are to compete at Junior Worlds for the United States and be the first American team to place higher than third at Worlds or Olympics.
What do you consider to be the strongest and weakest aspects of your skating?
Mimi & Ben: The strongest aspects of our skating are probably our speed, body, and leg line. We both share the same focus and intensity in our training. The weakest aspect of our skating is probably the fact that we are still a new team and do not yet have the unity of a more seasoned team.
Will you share your most memorable or embarrassing skating moment?
Ben: My most memorable moment was when I competed at the Junior Grand Prix competition in Slovakia [fall of 2002]. I hope to have many more moments like that.
Mimi: I think my most memorable moments are yet to come.
Who are your favorite skaters and why?
Ben: My favorite skaters are Benjamin Agosto and Tanith Belbin because they are successfully competing at the Senior level and yet are still very young. I also very much admire Ilia Averbukh because of his skating ability, along with Justin Pekarek for his great outlook towards the sport.
Mimi: I like Janet Lynn because her joy showed through in her skating. I like Tanith and Ben, too, because they are fun to watch and have good feet!!
What are some of your off-ice hobbies?
Ben: I enjoy being involved with music, whether it's listening to the radio, researching unknown artists, or composing music on the piano and beats on the drumset. I also like everything new and high tech.
Mimi: I dance all the time!!! I also like scrapbooking and doing family things.
What motivates you to skate?
Ben: I am motivated by the sense of daily accomplishment. My sense of accomplishment is always short lived because I take pleasure in working towards my next goal. I also enjoy the freedom of movement and expression I have on the ice.
Mimi: I just love everything about being on the ice, and, like I said earlier, I dance all the time!
Photograph courtesy Donald Cohen. Skate photograph copyright © Dave Amorde. Unless otherwise noted, all content Do not reproduce elsewhere without permission.