Maria Butyrskaya- underappreciated skater

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

  1. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. sequins

    sequins New 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.
  5. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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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.
  6. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I'm curious. What about Maria's skating made it mature?
  7. 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.
  8. 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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  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    This is very true. Butyrskaya had some of her best skates at Russian Nationals.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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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  17. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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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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  18. 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. ;)
  19. 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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  20. 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?
  21. Nours

    Nours Active Member

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    So many wrong facts, I don't even want to start.

    Just, surely, judges showed she was a poor skater and didn't like her when she won her first international : 1992 Skate Canada. She also did a lot of good back to back performances but people only remember her bad competitions. She won, as previously said, russians nationals six time including 5 in a row in a field with Slutskaya, Sokolova, Volchkova, Soldatova, Ivanova and Markova ; she won Euros 3 times, including 2002...

    She was totally robbed many times and it shows so much in her skating toward the end of her career. So much bitterness. Specially her two last ones.

    I totally loved her 2001 LP and why she didn't trashed Hughes for at least a bronze still escape me. I mean, a beautiful choreo and expression plus a triple triple seq versus what was basically a junior's skate with cheated triples ? But yes, the little girls often win against the real skaters.
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  22. barrhaven

    barrhaven New Member

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    When was she robbed ever?

    1996 Worlds? Possible but she landed only 5 triples if we count her two footed triple lutz, vs Irina 6 clean ones, and only 1 jump combination to 3 for Irina. Had she landed the last triple loop she had the bronze, but she fell on it. Irina fell on her first triple lutz, but threw it in later to make up for it so it didnt hurt her.

    1998 Olympics? Some say she was but she had her worst skate all season with only 2 or 3 clean triples, no triple clean harder than the triple loop, no triple combination, and skated stiff, tenative, and without her usual flow and grace. That she nearly won the bronze with such a poor skate show the judges were willing to give her atleast that but she didnt deliver. Lu and Irina both tried and landed more triples and more difficult ones, made fewer mistakes, and skated with more energy, attack, and smoothness.

    2000 Worlds? She could have been put 2nd in the long over Irina to give her the title but the judges probably thought it would be cruel to deny Kwan the gold with a very good Q round skate, clean and excellent short, and all time great long program vs Maria with an ok Q round skate, outstanding short program, and flawed 5 triple long program so scored it accordingly after the performances of Michelle, Maria, and Irina made it all possible. Had she duplicated her not clean but slightly better Q round LP even she probably would have taken atleast 2nd in the long over Irina and defended her title.

    2001 Worlds? Perhaps but she didnt skate in the final flight of the short after bombing the Q round. 2 or 3 judges put her 2nd over a clean Kwan (she was the only one besides Irina to have votes over Michelle in the short), but some had her as low as 7th. Overall the ordinals worked out to put her just behind Angela who skated her best short ever, and Hughes who had harder jumps and was clean, so it was mostly bad luck. Had she not bombed the Q round she would have been in the final flight and put atleast 3rd for the same performance. Then her long she had a chance to be 1st or 2nd which she needed to even win the bronze but doubled her 2nd triple lutz and had several shaky landings to lose that. You forget she did beat Hughes clean 7 triple, difficult triple-triples skate in the LP but it wasnt enough to pass her overall and all started with her bombing the Q round. Like usual she was her own worst enemy.

    1996 Grand Prix final? I guess she could have been placed 2nd over Kwan and Slutskaya, but she missed her only triple lutz attempt which was considered more important than the triple flip Irina missed, and Michelle even if she had some huge errors landed some way more difficult things and had a more polished and exquisite program.

    That is pretty much it and as you can see each had reasonable explanations for the judges placements too. The judges were willing to give her 6 straight World medals (1996-2001), 3 Grand Prix final titles (1998, 2000, 2001), atleast 2 World titles (1999, 2000), atleast 1 Olympic medal (1998) had she skated to her potential, despite that she isnt even that great or special a skater even on her best day. How is that harshly treated. She might have even won the 2002 Olympics if she skated her best considering she barely lost to Hughes in the short and Hughes ended up with the gold. For a skater of her level to have this many opportunities is not underrating. If anything it is overrating and maybe she benefits from the Russian flag on her back to even have had this many chances, many which she didnt take but that is her own fault. Yes she has to skate perfectly to get these things, and often 1 or 2 mistakes and they were gone. She doesnt have some outstanding technical merit or stunning artistry that she should get a big mistake cushion, and those who think she should have a deluded view of her abilities.


    1992 Skate Canada btw, that was great, but it was an awful weak event. Chouinard and Harding both landed like 1 triple. Still she showed great promise and should have come top 10 at the 93 Worlds but she didnt and instead produced an all time embarassment for the Russian fed by losing their Olympic ladies spot(s) altogether, and then took another 3 years to start finding her way, by time she was already 23. Even Skate Canada she was already 20. You start your rise at such an advanced age you will naturally be seen as less of someone your fed wants to rely on to beat Michelle Kwan than a rising 16 year old with huge jumps and super spins.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  23. Excidra

    Excidra New Member

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    Slutskaya>>>>>>Butyrskaya. :cool:
  24. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I saw her 2001 LP (and SP) live, and it was beautiful. She should have defeated Hughes who was like a junior skater. The 6.0 did not penalize ur jumps and that worked in Hughes' favor. IMO Maria should have received higher artistic marks for that performance.
  25. barrhaven

    barrhaven New Member

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    She did defeat Sarah Hughes in the LP though. Why arent people getting this. The judges did not place her below Sarah Hughes in the LP. She lost a medal since she hadnt done well in the other programs and was too far behind. She totally bombed the Q round, which already cost her any chance of gold or silver when Michelle and Irina won their qualifying rounds, and put her in a big hole to even get the bronze. Then she didnt do that well in the short program either. She now needed to place 1st or 2nd in the long over one or both of Michelle and Irina just to win the bronze. She skated well and beat a perfect Hughes in the LP, but did not do a strong enough technical performance with only 6 triples, doubling her 2nd triple lutz, lots of shaky landings, and no triple-triple combination, to justify beating either Michelle or Irina so was not able to make up the ground she had to pass Hughes for the bronze. She was the only skater to get 5.9s for presentation (I think she got 4) besides Michelle Kwan, and the only skater who any of the judges gave a higher presentation mark than Kwan. So she was not undermarked, and she did not lose to Sarah Hughes in the LP, she lost a medal by her other programs.

    Alot of the crying for poor wuzrobbed Maria in this thread is all based on things that arent accurate to reality. The judges did not cost her a medal at the 98 Olympics, she cost herself it by skating a poor long program and still lost it by only .1 to an inspired Chen who skated her best. The judges did not cost her the bronze to Irina at the 96 Worlds, she cost herself it by falling near the end and landing less triples and combinations than Slutskaya. The judges did not cost her winning more than one World title, she cost herself it by not skating a clean long program at the 2000 Worlds. The judges not place cost her the bronze at the 2001 Worlds, she cost herself it by a horrible qualifying round skate, a so so short program, and not doing 7 triples to win the long program. The judges did not cost her a medal at the 2002 Olympics. She cost herself the chance by skating an awful long program. It was all Maria's fault she didnt win more medals and titles, not the judges.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  26. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    I know and understand this was a joke in response to what made Maria's skating mature. But anyone at any age can have incontinence, and there are several reasons and factors why that may occur. It doesn't just happen to mature people or the elderly. Some jokes really aren't always appropriate and perhaps some should think twice before they hit that reply button.

    And regarding what made Maria's skating mature ... I'm not sure if that's meant in a good way or a bad way. I just know that Maria had grace and was very eloquent on the ice. I loved watching her skate and always will. I still watch videos of her skating and appreciate what she accomplished on the ice.
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  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Even Frank Carroll once said - "Maria is a beautiful beautiful skater". She was at her peak then.
  28. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    In turn, I think Maria respected Carroll and Kwan as well. I remember reading many years ago (though I can't find the article now) that Maria Butryskaya said she would have given Kwan the gold in SLC. I don't know how much of that is because she really thought Kwan should have beaten Irina in the SP and LP and how much of that was her animosity towards Irina. Also, how bad was the relationship between Irina and Maria? I only remember at the time, it was accepted that there was no love lost between the two, but I don't know if that was just a fan-perpetuated myth or if there was truth to that.
  29. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    She was 26 when she won Worlds, though she did win Europeans at the age of 29.

    It's hard to argue when seeing her late 90s programmes, and in particular her 2000 SP. I'd add, as someone else did earlier, her :inavoid: performances from the early 1990s, which I don't suppose were broadcast outside of Europe. They must be available now though; her SPs from 1993 and 1994 are especially strange and strong.
  30. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC I saw her skate around 1995-1996 and thought she had a lot of potential, but she was not getting high marks. It was only in 1999 when she won the worlds that she started getting a lot more attention. She did come close to winning a bronze at the 1998 despite a bad draw in the SP but couldn't take advantage of it in the LP.

    Past 2002 Olympics- after she turned pro- she seemed to have a lot more freedom in her skating. I enjoyed her 'eyes like yours' routine.
  31. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    It's a fallacy that 6.0 didn't penalize URed jumps. The skaters who consistently URed (like Sarah and Amber Corwin) were visibly marked lower on the technical mark, despite the fact that their content was comparable to, say, Michelle Kwan. Sarah even got a 5.3 for her 7-triple long in Vancouver, and she did lose to Maria in the long. Nobody who was ranked below the top 4 were better than Sarah that night either. Maria was robbed in the short though.
  32. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    I believe you meant in Salt Lake City.
  33. Tony Wheeler

    Tony Wheeler Well-Known Member

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    Nah, I believe they don't. 2001 Worlds.
  34. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    You are right. 2001 worlds was in Vancouver- I even attended it. My bad.
  35. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    I, too, heard they didn't get along but I can't remember where I heard it. I always thought Maria believed Irina's team was behind her car bombing. She always seemed to hint that it was a rival competitor but always stopped just short of naming names. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/wintersports/news/1999/12/29/skating_bomb/
    By the way, Maria did not care for Sarah and Robin and their behavior at competitions, so it doesn't surprise me at all that she thought anyone but Sarah (or Irina) should have won. Kwan is as harmless and sweet as they come so even Butryskaya would be hard pressed to have a beef with her.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  36. JJS5056

    JJS5056 New Member

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    It sucks how much the qualifying round ended up impacting the medals at major Championships. They should've instituted qualifying competitions or figured something out, because skating the same LP in one competition for points led to so many great qual/poor LP and poor qual/great LP.

    Anyway, I don't think Maria Butyrskaya was underrated nor do I think she was outright robbed of much except the 2000 NHK. I do think she was at the losing end of many close calls and certainly suffered from having to be consistent throughout 3 programs. The close calls, IMO, were:

    1996 Worlds
    One of the only times Slutskaya attempted 7 triples, which was the only reason this was even close since she landed 6 instead of 5. The immature routine and costume were enough to say "we love your technical merit and you have a great future." I actually would've had her 5th behind Szewczenko. Butyrskaya 5.5/5.7, Slutskaya 5.7/5.4.

    2000 Worlds
    I think the qualifying round should've never existed and thus Kwan should've easily won in Nice. But, as it were, Butyrskaya deserved the win, IMO, with a second over Slutskaya in the LP. After missing the salchow, Irina completely broke the continuity of the program and threw the timing off iin a noticeably and interruptible manner. Bute at least attempted the 3-3 sequence, while Irina abandoned her difficult combos. I would've had Kwan at 5.8/5.9 (having to leave room), Maria at 5.6/5.9 and Irina at 5.8/5.6. Maria's program was infinitely more complex and had a lot more choreography on top of the better interpretation.

    2001 Worlds
    Meanwhile, without qualifications, Maria would've been in a better group for the SP and placed ahead of at least Hughes, which as it turned out, was all she needed anyway for bronze since was 3rd in the LP already. I think there's a case for placing her LP 2nd, especially had she rightly come in as World Champion. Slutskaya's combos were a hot mess, and her choreography was atrocious- this coming from an Irina fan; meanwhile, Butyrskaya's '17 Moments of Spring' was one of her softest programs and I thought she seemed quite at ease throughout, landing the 3-3 sequence and only doubling out on the lutz. Kwan 5.9/5.9, Butyrskaya 5.7/5.8 and Slutskaya 5.8/5.7 seems justifiable. Regardless, qualifications DID count, but I do think she should've beaten Hughes in the SP anyway to take bronze.

    1998 Worlds
    1998 Worlds was a close call; I think given her European title and consistent season, she should've received the nod for silver over Slutskaya. Slute landed 6 triples (2 of lower quality, but in difficult combinations), Bute landed 5 or 6 depending on the 2nd toe loop's creditability. Each had a fall; Irina's less disrupting but on an element, while Maria needed time to gain momentum after tripping on her choreography. Butyrskaya 5.6/5.8, Slutskaya 5.8/5.6.

    I think her overall record - selected competitions - should've looked a little more like:

    1996 Worlds: Bronze
    1997 Worlds: 4th (placing above Gusmeroli to 5th and Slutskaya to bronze)
    1998 Europeans: 2nd (no way Slutskaya deserved 2nd in the LP; Szewczenko was robbed)
    1998 Olympics: 4th
    1999 Worlds: 1st
    2000 Worlds: 1st
    2000 NHk: 1st
    2001 Worlds: 3rd

    But, in the end, I think she was merely unlucky. I do think the fed was too eager to jump back on the Slutskaya train for the 99-00 season. It was clear Maria could compete and win; they should've invested in better support, like a sports psychologist. From 1996 until before 2001 Worlds, Maria really was the more consistent skater. It's a shame close decisions/tiny mistakes cost her a much more decorated career.
  37. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    Maria Butyrskaya was the best Bond Girl. It must have been her exhibition program at 1998 Worlds because I remember that she came in 4th in the competition. She and Olga Markova were voidy cool.

    ETA: I just checked her website - it was the 96/97 season exhibition program. I can't find a video though.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  38. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I already know from our past conversations you will strongly disagree but I would have placed Voltchkova above Hughes at this event in both programs. Atleast Victoria had absolutely spectacular jumps, the best of all the women that night as Irinas jumps were clearly off her best that night, while Sarah wasnt particularly good in anything in her performances here. Anyway it would have allowed Maria to win the bronze overall so that alone is enough reason to mark it that way.

    I also agree Maria could have beaten Irina in the long program which is another way she would have gotten 3rd overall. Had she went for and made the 2nd triple lutz she probably would have since a couple judges had her 2nd over Irina anyway (well I presume 2 judges had her over Irina, a couple judges had Maria 2nd, and a couple judges had Irina over Michelle after she skated, but I am guessing they are 4 different judges; but for all I know there might have been a judge that had Irina, Maria, Michelle as I havent seen the ordinals in full ever).
  39. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Butyrskaya was the real DIVA. The passion she had for the music, her elegance, her maturity. Great edges despite her legs being a bit stiff. Having both flip and lutz off correct edges in an era where few skaters gave a damn about that. There hasn't been a skater like this since she has retired. I really miss her. :(

    She was the archetypal 'lady' whilst Slutskaya had a more perky and 'athletic' approach. But both of them were capable of skating to the music very well. Their rivalry was fantastic.

    I am still furious over the idiot Dick Button deciding to constantly fixate on her few weak points whilst giving his favourite skaters like Kwan a total pass on theirs.

    And the way she was totally dumped by the judges at the 2002 Olympics was just :mad:.

    Attention to detail, use of the whole body, with her movement being in character of the music chosen.

    Between her big flutz and her usual cheats, you can't really describe Hughes' program as 'clean.'
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
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  40. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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    She was very very high maintenance, but she really had an extraordinary look on the ice. When I think of a woman on the ice, I still think of Maria even over skaters like Katarina Witt. Maria at her best was like Gena Davis on the ice, and she had absolutely gorgeous body lines and presence.

    It was really nice to see her soften up over the years - the less tense, bitchy, and stiff she skated, the more beautiful she was to watch.. Her triple loop is still the best IMO, she also had nice pointed toes at almost every opportunity and a very pretty camel position.

    I also think that Maria Butyrskaya is perhaps the only modern day skater that could scare Barbara Fusar-Poli with a stare of her own.