Maria Butyrskaya- underappreciated skater

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

  1. DreamSkates

    DreamSkates Active Member

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    Maria always made for an interesting rivalry at Worlds. She was stiff in her knees but her programs were always interesting.
     
  2. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame that she reserved her most boring programs for the 2001-2002 season complete with a perpetual pained expression throughout the SP and really screechy and annoying music for the LP.
     
  3. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    :lol: The long program always got a laugh from me. The music was characterized by angsty tension, and Maria was essentially screaming mature woman angst in that program. I thought the posing she did during the bells around the first minute mark was hilarious.
     
  4. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    I know Maria skated cleanly although perhaps she was tentative. I don't remember. There's no mark of that program on Youtube. Michelle had the slightest two-foot on her 3lutz which was why she was decidedly placed behind Slutskaya.

    People always say that so-and-so would not do well under CoP. But was anyone during that time doing elements beyond mostly level 1s at that time anyway (with the exception of Slutskaya)? I'm not convinced Michelle would not have done well under CoP. It's not like Butyrskaya or Volchkova or Nikodinov would have done any better (and the latter two were not successful during the transition).
     
  5. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    And you know, an ill-prepared Kwan with level 1s and mistakes galore did pretty well considering what she was putting out there at 2005 Worlds.
     
  6. irinayunafanatc

    irinayunafanatc Member

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    Apart from the qualifying round which barely counted for any points Kwan didnt have mistakes galore at the 2005 Worlds. All her competitors apart from Slutskaya and Cohen who had about the same number as she did. In the short she was clean. The long she had a two foot landing and fall. Slutskaya in the short had 2 mistakes and in the long gave up a whole 5 points which is more than a fall worth by doing a 3rd triple loop. Cohen had 2 minor mistakes in the short and problems on the landings of 3 different jumps. Both still scored way above Kwan. Kostner missed the last 3 jumps in her long program, two of them badly, and almost collapsed in exhaustion at the end, but got almost the same long program score as Kwan to hold her off for the bronze.

    Mistakes galore is what Arakawa did missing like 6 jumps over the short and long program as opposed to only 2 for Michelle. Yet her hot mess of a long program performance still got almost the same PCS as Kwan.
     
  7. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    Kwan may have bombed the qualifying, but she was robbed in the short. Then again Kostner was royally screwed in the short the most and should have had a big lead in that segment. The short should have been 1) Kostner 2) Kwan. Nearly 10 years later and I'm still not sure how Slutskaya and Cohen finished 1,2 in that segment.
     
  8. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I agree but those short program results would have made no difference to the final overall outcome. The only change would have been Kostner winning the bronze more easily, and Suguri not being relatively close to the bronze anymore.

    Kostner had no international rep yet so no surprise she didnt get the scores she deserved in the short program.

    I always wondered how Suguri would have done at those Worlds with her Four Continents performances which were her best ever. Bronze easily obviously, but could she have even edged Cohen for silver? Could Yoshie Onda have even gotten the bronze at these Worlds with her flawless Four Continents performances, which ended up still losing her the spot on the World team to Fumie.
     
  9. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I still think the QR counts for something as it was the biggest reason as to why she lost the bronze medal that season, and Kwan falling and double-footing is mistakes galore under Kwan's standards (she also had a messy landing on the end of her 3/2/2 combo). Anyway, did I say she did better than Irina and Sasha? No. I just said she did pretty well considering what she put out there. No need to talk about how Irina and Sasha did so much better because that wasn't the point of my post at all.

    Anyway, out of the top 13 in the LP, Kwan was the only one to get an automatic 1 point deduction for the fall, plus the prerequisite -3 off whatever score the judges would have given her otherwise. Kwan also almost scored 3 points higher than Arakawa in PCS…the same differential that Kwan had behind Cohen with that bore of a Bolero program. But none of this really matters because I'm just saying Kwan would not have been totally lost under COP as some posters have been trying to make it sound.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  10. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    My $.02. Maria skated so slowly, scared and tentatively in the short program. It may have been the same program from the previous year but it was not the same assured, commanding performance. I was surprised how happy she was when she finished because she'd always been her toughest critic and it simply was not good despite being clean. Some people claimed Kwan doubled-footed her lutz in the short program which might be why Maria stole some ordinals. I believe Frank Carroll even asked her in the kiss and cry if she two-footed the jump and she categorically denied it. In real time, it looked two-footed. On replay, it looked clean. In real time I had 1) Slutskaya 2) Nikodinov 3)Suguri 4) Kwan 5) Volchkova 6) Butryskaya 7) Hughes. After I saw the real play and rewatched, I had it 1) Slutskaya 2) Kwan 3) Nikodinov and the rest the same.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  11. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Member

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    Agreed. Maria should've kept her 2001 programs for SLC. That SP was a masterpiece, and given that she didn't skate it in the final round in 2001, maybe it wouldn't have come across as stale? Anyway, losing a few tenths here and there for repurposing a program for 3 years would've been worth it. It and 17 Moments were still 5.8/5.9 programs, whereas the ones she ended up with highlighted none of the elements that made her stand out, nor did it showcase the improvements she had made over the quad. To whomever said she improved all the way through 2002, I definitely disagree. Watch her 2001 Worlds skates and then the ones from SLC. She was stiff, inexpressive, lacked any knee bend, and the heavy music was ponderous and did nothing to show off the lovely, light Maria she had worked so hard to become.

    It's fitting that she walked out of Worlds with one last skate to that dreadful program. Would've liked to see her win a bronze as a goodbye gift, though.

    Maria's footwork into triple loop should be shown and held to be the standard for how that element should be performed. She moved directly into the takeoff, and the fact that her loop was gorgeous doesn't hurt. Shame she went to the flip post-2000.

    There is a YouTube clip of her 2001 SP but the music has been dubbed. :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if she gave up the fight entirely before her free skate in SLC even began though after coming below Cohen and Hughes in the short program, thinking no matter what she did she wasnt going to get any color of medal. Maybe if she had a crystal ball and saw Hughes would win the gold that night, and she had been marked so close to her in the short program, she would have been more her usual fighter self.
     
  13. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    It's funny to read so many raves about 17 Moments now. Back then the music was routinely mocked by a lot of online skating fans. I wonder if there were more vocal critics of the piece back then because fans were still worried about Maria being a threat to Kwan and Slutskaya?
     
  14. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Member

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    Hmm, has your own opinion of it changed? I didn't watch skating that season so I only saw it once at Worlds and had little memory of it until YouTube came around.

    I think it totally works for her. Bute was almost like a brand, and her programs always let you know that she was the woman in a field of girls. 17 Moments, to me, seemed to be the most lyrical LP she ever skated (and let's face it, Scene d'Amour's impact was largely due to the music) and I think it tells a nice story. Maybe I'm just scarred from her 2002 FP that I'd take anything over that hot mess.
     
  15. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    Was it? I didn't hang around FSU during those days and at the forum I did spend time on, 17 Moments seemed like it had a great reception.
     
  16. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Member

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    She may have known the odds were against her and skated tentatively as a result, but no champion athlete gives up 4 minutes before the event they've been working on for 4 years. She gave her best, which by that time, was shaky technique and a very heavy program.
     
  17. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people nicknamed it the "program with telenovela music." :lol: I liked it when she first debuted it, but admittedly, once I read that nickname many times, I had trouble not picturing a telenovela playing in the background.
     
  18. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Gettin' my sass out

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    Butyrskaya was a favourite of mine whilst she was competing - and perhaps amazingly, I appreciate her even more as time goes on. She had a presence and look we just haven't seen since IMO.
     
  19. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't criticising the stiff knee in and of itself - I went back and watched Butyrskaya's programmes and her triple flips and Lutzes were often underotated as well - with hooked landings. The jarring stiff knee landings would draw your eye - but if you look at the ice she was completing the rotation up on the toe as well.
     
  20. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member

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    I did not notice that Bute often underrotated her lutzes or flips. It certainly wasn't as noticeable as Hughes' obvious underrotations to me but maybe you can give me some example of Bute's URs.
     
  21. irinayunafanatc

    irinayunafanatc Member

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    They wanted someone who could beat Michelle Kwan. Irina can, Maria cant. Irina has beaten Michelle Kwan like 20 times. Maria only did twice. In 2000-2005 Michelle could only beat Irina when she was brilliant and Irina made major mistakes, like the 2000 and 2001 Worlds. Maria could only beat Michelle if Michelle fell in the short and missed half her jumps in the long program, which is what happened the only 2 times Maria ever beat Michelle.

    The Russians werent going to promote someone as their #1 who couldnt even beat or even compete with the Russian's biggest competition. That would have been stupid. Russia hunts gold medals, not bronze or pewter ones. To back Maria as the new #1 once Irina got her act back together would have been to willingly accept a cap of what Russians could hope for as being below the gold medal.

    Even when Maria had her chance as Russian #1 in 98-2000 she didnt do much with it other than her World title. Only needed an average performance to medal at the 98 Olympics and choked. Chance to win her 2nd World title in 2000 and choked. Chance to maybe win 98 Worlds over lackluster Kwan in depleted field and suffered one huge jarring error in both programs, and lost silver to Russian #2 Irina. Heavy favorite for the 98 Grand Prix final title and choked badly and lost to Malinina. Irina as Russian #1 never chokes away possible big titles, only wins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  22. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    The word 'choke' is really not appropriate to describe situations such as Maria's 2000 Worlds or 1998 Olympics long programs. They weren't amazing performances but not a meltdown in any form. Besides, Irina did 'choke' away more than one major title, most namely the 2002 and 2006 Olympics.

    With that said, I think the love for Butyrskaya on FSU is a bit biased. I love Maria but there are several deficiencies in her skating that are almost never brought up - such as her mediocre spirals and layback. It was always glaring to me that her SP would open with her best elements, but the fact that she always put her worst two elements last sullied the program somewhat for me.
     
  23. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Member

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    Maria had a lovely layback at times; the one in her Otonal program was rather nice. I'm not sure why she never held as nice of a position during the SP, and I agree that putting it last was unfortunate, considering her gorgeous camel positions.

    I also think her spirals were on par with most of the field sans Kwan, Cohen and Bobek. Do you think they were really that bad?
     
  24. irinayunafanatc

    irinayunafanatc Member

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    Well the way I look at it is that Maria should have been able to skate well enough in the LP to both win the bronze at the 98 Olympics and win the overall gold at the 2000 Worlds and she didnt mostly due to nerves. So for me that is a choke in both instances. Irina almost never chokes with a big titles or medals on the line, the only exceptions are the 2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, 2002 Olympics, 2006 Olympics, and 1997 Worlds short program.

    The Russians wanted someone who could beat Michelle Kwan, the one to beat during that era other than maybe Irina herself at times, and who could win big titles. Maria was close to totally incapable of both beating Michelle Kwan (only 2 wins in their 8 year rivalry) and of winning Olympic or World titles (won the 99 Worlds but even that was a shock, and didnt ever really come close any other time). She also choked under pressure, giving up atleast 1 Olympic medal, 1 additional World title, and numerous other medals due to not delivering an even somewhat good performance under pressure. Those are all reasons the Russians would have been dumb to ever think of backing Maria as their #1 unless Irina was in a huge slump like 98-99. The Russian fed. knew this. Why back a skater who cant win big titles, cant challenge Michelle Kwan, and who chokes under pressure as #1 over a skater who is a threat to win big titles everytime out, can challenge and regularly beat Michelle Kwan, and who rarely chokes under pressure. It is an easy choice, it is like asking would you rather regularly winning golds and silvers or regularly taking 3rds, 4ths, and 5ths.
     
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely agree with you that Irina was a stronger candidate to beat Kwan than Maria. However, the exceptions you listed are pretty numerous and those are pretty important competitions. That said, Irina did manage to win many other titles.
     
  26. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    I thought she had clearly the worst spirals among the top ladies - her leg wasn't much higher than horizontal from what I recall. Her layback position was pretty poor sometimes. That's not to say that Kwan had a better position, but the position wasn't that well stretched and quite slow.
     
  27. Perky Shae Lynn

    Perky Shae Lynn Well-Known Member

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    Maria was tough to watch - screechy and tense and stiff. Yet I loved her then, and I love her now. She was so endearing in her imperfections - and such an antithesis of a packaged skating princess. She was raw, real and wonderful. I have nothing but admiration for her.
     
  28. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member

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    The quality of a spiral is not defined by the height of the free leg.
    Watch Maria's spiral step sequences from her short programs circa 1997-2001. They were more than adquate. In fact I'd say they were quite good.
     
  29. shady82

    shady82 New Member

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    It's not defined by the height of the free leg? Really? It's not the only criterion, but it certainly matters.

    I personally didn't think her sequences were that great at all, and sometimes she didn't hold the positions that long either.
     
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    It might not be the only thing that defines it. I do think that is an important thing to point out as it applies to skaters like Cohen who Button seems to be smitten by the height of her leg and ignore all else. However the height of the free leg is still a crucial part of a good spiral. A spiral that barely has a 90 degrees free leg can never be that good. In Maria's case I fail to see anything impressive about hers. She doesnt have the flexability or extension on them, the positions are usually ugly, her spirals look unsteady without a secure running edge, and they are slow. The best ones I saw her do were probably her 1999 Worlds SP, and to a lesser degree her 2000 Worlds SP.