What people now want to know is whether the 25-year-old figure skater – missing from competitive meets for four years – will be a contender at next month's winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The quick answer is, the Olympic silver medalist and three-time world medalist says she's ready to hit the ice once more. "This is for me, because I want to do it," she tells NBC. "I want to perform again."
Still, speculation about Cohen abounds. Having left the sport at 21 to have fun, to explore dreams of acting and going to college, and to see whether skating was really what she wanted to do in life, Cohen – who will be competing at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane on Thursday, to be broadcast on NBC – says she ignores the chatter.
"Everybody thinks so many different things," says the Newport Beach, Calif., native. "Some people love me, some people hate me. Some people think I'm going to compete for the next 10 years, some people were ready to write me off five years ago. You can't listen to what people say."
Keeping her mind focused on her mission instead of the gossip, once Cohen realized skating was her calling she set to work on her comeback.
"I want to push myself to see what I'm capable of … I've trained my butt off this year," she says. "Things haven't been easy, but it really is true: That which does not kill you makes you stronger."