The Ice Storm

After a judging scandal tarnished its luster, figure skating got a new scoring system. The competition could be brisker than ever

When figure skater Sasha Cohen decided to buy her first house, she picked an idyllic abode in Laguna Beach, Calif. With views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and rolling canyons on the other, it was the perfect location for the élite-level skater to repair to as she prepared for her second Olympic Games. There was only one problem. When the rains came, Cohen learned that the beauty and charm of the house hid a major flaw: it had been built on a shaky foundation and was in danger of sliding away.

Her new house wasn't the only thing in...

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