Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about who should have won which portions etc, but it is laughable to suggest that poor crossover/stroking/waist posture is not evaluated on the first mark. Being bent over / broken at the waist (Slutskaya's predominant issue with regard to her stroking) is a technical skating skills issue that is entirely separate from a simple postural issue. Every skater knows that it is easier to skate faster and gain more power if you break at the waist while still maintaining good back posture above that. It is tough to get the same power when keeping the back erect right from the waist. There are reasons other than simple aerodynamics that speedskaters skate in the body orientation that they do to maximize power. Further, if you decide to lump Slutskaya's issues with her back posture into the Presentation category then that would fare really poorly for her, with the presentation mark being the tiebreaker. Her program was not even close to the tier of programs that Kwan and Lipinski put out to begin with (talking about the program itself). Both Americans had really well-rounded programs that year and both skated in such a way that the programs built to a climax and were really emotionally fulfilling. Just the phrasing of the program to their music was far superior to that of Slutskaya's. And then the caliber of choreography was on a different planet for the Americans. That is combined with the fact that Kwan and Lipinski skated with much better posture (even if Lipinski especially was slow). ETA actually Lipinski's posture is nothing to write home about either, but it was more consistent and less choppy than Slutskaya's. I actually really enjoyed Slutskaya in 1997, and her jumps were some of the cleanest they have been for a FS in her career (flow on landings, good landing position, neat feet, good spring and air position...save for the bad landing on the first lutz). The music was a little heavy, but for a Slutskaya program (which I concede that I do not always enjoy) this one is a good routine. That said, I don't think it can be justified putting Slutskaya above Lipinski in the long due to Lipinski having a better, more difficult, and overall cleaner program (with an extra triple), but Slutskaya did really well in this event. Really the only thing Slutskaya did better was spin (by a small margin) and better speed and jump spring. That alone can't negate the more difficult and extra triple program of Lipinski, not even taking presentation into account.