Cohen not looking back at 1980 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cohen not looking back at 1980

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Michael Cohen will feel no differently about Russia or the Olympics during the next two weeks than he has for the last 33 years.

In 1980, Cohen was a member of the United States weightlifting team, preparing to go to Moscow for the Olympics, until the U.S. boycotted those Games.

Friday, the Games return to Russia for the first time since 1980, but they won't be bringing Cohen back to that moment with them.

"I made a vow that I was going to keep moving forward and try to accomplish everything that I could,'' said Cohen. "Everything I've accomplished, the Olympics was a starting point, not an ending point.''

Cohen had teammates who have never let go of the pain and anger of a missed opportunity.

But in the years since, he has filled any void he might have felt by coaching in multiple Olympics, walking in the opening ceremonies in 2000 and lighting the Olympic torch in his hometown in 1996. That has made it easier to not look back.

"To me, the 1980 Olympics was unfortunate to say the least, a disaster for many athletes that we'll never hear of that could have been household names,'' says Cohen. " But the reality is, if you live in the past, you die in the past.''

Cohen also believes the Olympics are in his future.

Two of the athletes he trains at the Anderson-Cohen Weightlifting Center are his sons, who are among the top junior lifters in the country.

"I know 2020, 2024 and 2028, God willing, are going to be incredibly exciting,'' he said, "because a Cohen is going to involved.''

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