Maria Butyrskaya- underappreciated skater

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Vash01, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Although Butyrskaya was SERIOUSLY robbed at the 2000 NHK trophy, I don't believe she was really underappreciated. If anything, on this forum, I find her to be appreciated appropriately (over overappreciated by some).

    That said, I do think she wasn't given credit for the things she did well, like her brilliant camel spin and that Lutz and Loop. As a Kwan-fan, I learned to appreciate an excellent triple loop since I seldom got to see one from Kwan in her latter years.
     
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    There was a poll on this forum once asking who was better Suguri or Butyrskaya and Suguri won the poll. IMO that is underrating her. Suguri was never a contender for gold at the World level, absolutely never, Maria atleast was for 2.5 seasons. Maria of course did win a World title and won the short program at Worlds twice, Suguri never did either. Suguri couldnt even medal at the Olympics with her best performances, not even skating her best in a really poor Olympics in 2006. Butyrskaya was .1 from an Olympic medal even with skating about 60% of her potential in the LP at the 98 Olympics. Maria has many more grand prix event wins. Maria has atleast beaten Michelle Kwan twice (and was ahead of her after the short program about 8 times but rarely did well enough in the long to stay ahead), Suguri never did. Maria has in fact beaten Irina Slutskaya many times, Suguri did once at the 2004 Worlds when Irina was just coming off a life threatening illness in her first appearance back. Maria has done 7 triple programs, Suguri has not, Maria at her best was a 5.9 artistic skater, Suguri was not. And so on....
     
  3. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Maria was underappreciated by the judges and by her own fed.
     
  4. znhurston

    znhurston Member

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    Thanks for this thread and the videos of Butyrskaya. I liked her more for her image than her skating when she competed but this thread and video links have shown me that I under-appreciated her skating too!
     
  5. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    You always find some way to get a dig in at Suguri.

    Ok, losing that poll nothwithstanding, have you see any blatant examples in which Maria hasn’t been appreciated? I find that every time she’s brought up, it’s usually in praise of her abilities and of what she brought into skating. There’s always someone bemoaning the fact that she never got what she deserved. The general perception is that she’s pretty much well-liked or even loved here, even if some do concede to her shortcomings as a skater. I'm one of those people because when Maria was on, I greatly preferred her to Slutskaya and Hughes (more Hughes than Slute).

    I find FSU polls are just subject to the wave of popularity going on at the moment and doesn't necessarily show off people's objective thinking. Some people might have preferred Suguri at the time due to emotional attachments or preferences in style (or her kick-ass edges and speed). That doesn't mean that they under-appreciated what Maria brought.

    I think a more interesting topic when discussing if a skater is truly underappreciated is if someone made one of Kimmie Meissner, Rachel Flatt, or Sarah Hughes. Those skaters are either reviled or just not thought about, thus a more lively conversation can take place to see if they are truly underappreciated by the fandom.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  6. bartek

    bartek New Member

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    Overall I agree that Butyrskaya was better skater than Suguri but if I remember correctly Fumie did skate 7 triple program at 2003 ABC International Figure Skating Challenge where she should've won gold but the judges favoured flawed Kwan of course.
     
  7. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    One commernt I still remember about Suguri was when she went to Lori Nichol, and an esteemed poster said basically "What's the point? It's like souping up a GEO car". I was never a fan of Suguri's. Let's not even talk toe point, she couldn't even straighten her LEGS!!! Flutz, no sal or loop, no flexibility. What were we supposed to like about Suguri? When she decided to skate to the Stones I was optimistic. Her Paint It Black was just Paint It Suck.

    Please, Suguri? Are you serious? Maria by a million miles.
     
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    True, I remember that event now. I thought Suguri only landed 6 triples though. Either way she landed only 1 more than Kwan who skated clean but doubled 1 of her planned triples. I agree Suguri probably should have won it over Kwan but it wasnt a slam dunk. It was just a stupid cheesefest anyway, and those USFSA sponsored cheesefests will always be won by a U.S skater unless they all bomb. I remember one year at the Masters (another stupid USFSA cheesefest) Irina skated a beautiful program to Schindlers list and did all her triples, and Kwan popped every single jump to a double or single and still won 2 of the 5 judges and nearly the event. They are there to entertain fans and make money so I was happy for them and didnt care about the judging, and I wish they still existed given the drop of interest in skating in NA.


    My favorite ever performance from Suguri was the one she won the GP final:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo7_cLG8oCI

    She skated similarily well at Worlds, I wonder what how the judges would have scored her vs Arakawa, Cohen, and Kwan had she not bombed qualifying, and been in contention for a medal (or the gold). I also loved her short program in 2002 when she skated well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfIMDI7doWI

    and while it wasnt my favorite program, her best performance ever IMO was 2005 Four Continents LP:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX21Vo5LTKE

    Had she duplicated her 4CCs performances she might have won silver at Worlds that year, for sure atleast bronze. Yoshie Onda who lost the spot to Worlds to Fumie by losing to her there would have even won the bronze at Worlds that year with her same performances from there IMO. Those two really brought it and really wanted to go Worlds badly.


    I agree with your general assessments of her skating though. She was solid and consistent and good at capatilizing on others mistakes, hence her 3 world medals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  9. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Part of the reason is she had no ankle flexion, thus she looked stiff in the legs which made her legs appear longer. I am kind of amazed she had the skating skills she did without really getting down in the knees and ankles.
     
  10. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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  11. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  12. PashaFan

    PashaFan Active Member

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    Sorry, I can't find it any place on Youtube. I have it on DVD but have no idea how to post a video on Youtube.
    What I would like to add is that I really cringe when I watch a video on Youtube of Maria skating on a US network. Sometimes Dick Button & Peggy Flemming were just plain rude about her.
    When Hughes, Kwan or Cohen made errors there were just small & it was okay because they were so amazing but when Maria or Irina made errors they really made cutting comments. I find the Eurosport commentators much nicer.
    Another great Maria skate was at the 2002 ARD gala on ice. I love watching it.
    I will try & find that on Youtube.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  13. PashaFan

    PashaFan Active Member

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    Found it !.
    Just put in Maria Butrskaya 2002 ARD Gala On Ice on Youtube. It's such a lovely skate.
     
  14. sequins

    sequins Active Member

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    Just want to say I love Maria. She was and remains one of my favorites. When she won that world title I actually cried. She was truly an original and I loved her for that.
     
  15. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    I agree most of what you are saying, although Peggy rarely says anything negative about anyone. Dick can be very cutting, and I agree that he holds Maria and Irina to a higher standard.
     
  16. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I'm curious. What about Maria's skating made it mature?
     
  17. PashaFan

    PashaFan Active Member

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    For me, it was the time she took between the jumps & spins. She was not just jump, spin then jump then smile then spiral. It always looked honest & real.
    She would take time for such a simple thing like an arm movement or a look up to the crowd.
    Her 2000 sp at the worlds seemed much longer than the others as she took time for everything. Truly special.
    The younger girls like Hughes skated through their music sometimes. Maria let the music take her through the program.
     
  18. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I think Maria also did a lot of her own choreography. It does show when a skater can invest themselves in their music. And she could be elegant or sexy (like when she did Fever).
     
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  19. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    She was underapprciated by judges. I'm not so sure about her own federation though. She did win nationals a whopping 6 times. It took Irina 7 attempts before she finally beat Maria at nationals. The Russian federation must have liked Maria enough.
     
  20. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I loved Butyrskaya, stiff knees and all. I wish she had won the bronze at the '98 Olympics.
     
  21. Nours

    Nours Active Member

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    Or bombed enough all the times before that point...
    I did not see 1995 russians nationals, but for sure Slutskaya did not deserve the title from 1996 to 1999 at all on the ice. In fact she came fourth two seasons in a row : 1998 & 1999 and for some good reasons.
     
  22. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    This is very true. Butyrskaya had some of her best skates at Russian Nationals.
     
  23. irinayunafanatc

    irinayunafanatc Member

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    I will admit Irina was the federation favorite over Maria and if Maria even had somewhat shared support, even if Irina were still considered #1, Maria would be more of a threat for gold medals and medals in general at the World level. I dont know why the Russian federation couldnt just support both. They supported multiple teams/skaters in mens, pairs, and dance over the years, but I guess they had less confidence in their ladies so felt they could only pick one to push for.

    That said I dont know if Maria is really underrated. She wasnt a truly outstanding skater in either the technical or artistic aspects of skating, even at her best. She wasnt a great competitor either and often choked under pressure- the 98 Olympics where she gave away an almost certain medal with a bad skate, 2000 Worlds where she had a great shot to defend her title after winning the short and choked badly, 2000 and 2001 Grand Prix final which she had a great shot to win but blew and came 4th, and many other events she was 1 bad mistake from a higher placement- 96 Worlds, 97 Worlds, 98 Worlds. In her era she was almost never one of those really contending for gold, but one of those fighting for bronze behind the dominant 2 at a given time, either Chen or Kwan, or Kwan and Lipinski, or Kwan and Slutskaya, and usually she wasnt even the favorite for the bronze either. She wasnt part of a great rivalry, or one of the key rivals to Kwan. So all things considered why would she get much more recognition than she gets.
     
  24. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Maria was part of a great rivalry ... Russia/Soviet Ladies Vs the World Championship Curse ... it is unfathomable that Russian/Soviet women, women from a super power that produced Mens, Pair, and Ice Dance medalist regularly, could only produce one Olympic Bronze and one World Silver through an underappreciated Kira Ivanova and a World Silver through Irina Slutskaya... until a 29 year old written off past her prime Maria Butryskaya won Worlds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  25. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    I always loved Maria and always cheered for her. I think it was because she was sort of the "underdog" and older and "written off" by her Federation that made me champion her-as well as her lovely skating of course. She was just absolutely beautiful.
     
  26. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    Her knees creaked and she wore Depends when she skated ;-) I'm joking of course. Although I'm not a fan, I did love her look on the ice as she was extremely beautiful and very sexy… then she started to skate. Still, Fantastic that she has such a huge following and will be talked about for decades. That in itself deserves great respect.
     
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  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Vera

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    Not a very nice joke. Not toward Maria and not toward the elderly who actually face those things you mentioned. Why not just state the good things you said after that? It would have made a really nice post.
     
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  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure she was underappreciated.
    She was not the favorite of the Russian Fed, for sure. But obviously, she was not the most talented, and she achieved a lot, and was loved by the public, no ? Good enough, considering her skating was not particularly impressive. ;)
     
  29. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    Like I care what you think. Just put me on ignore as you seem to hate everything I say anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
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  30. barrhaven

    barrhaven New Member

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    The judges were willing to give her back to back World titles (1999 and 2000), an Olympic medal (1998), 3 Grand Prix final titles (1998, 2000, and 2001), and 6 World medals (1996-2001), despite that she isnt even that good a skater. That she failed to take atleast half of those opportunities is her problem. If anything she was overappreciated and overrated. A jerky skater without great athletic ability who choked and couldnt skate clean programs under pressure.

    Yes the Russian fed favored Irina over her, but who wouldnt. The Russia fed were looking for someone who could beat Michelle Kwan, and to a lesser degree Lu Chen, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes. On one hand you hand you have a skater with limited technical ability, good B-level artistry, who is a poor competitor, and who is waiting too long to rise to be a top skater meaning the judges arent as excited about her as a young rising star. The other you have a much younger skater, with the best technical merit in the World if she is on, decent artistry, speed and energy, who is a fairly strong competitor. Who would choose the former to support as their #1?