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  1. #1
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    If Irina was overrated how was it reflected in results?

    One thing I often read is Irina Slutskaya was an overrated skater who benefited from politics and inflated artistic marks, etc...While on the surface I have sometimes thought that might be true breaking it down closer I cant see hardly any results she attained she didnt deserve.

    She certainly deserved her 2 World titles in 2002 and 2005. She also deserved her World silvers in 1998, 2000, and 2001. She deserved her European titles. And she deserved her Grand Prix final victories in 2000, 2001, and 2005. The only medals I can think of she possibly didnt deserve were her World bronze in 96 and her Grand Prix final win in 2002. However I thought she should have medalled at the 97 Worlds (undermarked in the LP IMO) and won the 96 Grand Prix final (was the only top skater to do 2 clean programs there) so even those can easily be balanced out, and there is merits to her 96 World bronze as well anyway. Some argue she should have won the 02 Olympics based on different SP results, others argue she should have been only 3rd or 4th, so in the end her silver is about the average. And her bronze at the 2006 Olympics was also about the right result.

    So if she was so overrated why did she not win more medals that she didnt deserve as I can hardly think of any. It might be that the judges were ready to hand her out medals she might not have deserved if she had skated just a bit better, it might be sometimes her scores seemed inflated, but as far as actual final results they were nearly all right from what I can remember.

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    Perhaps not in the results, I think some people just felt her marks were a little high for certain segments of the competition. From the ones I can remember -

    '98 Olympics SP - I don't really know how I feel about it, but I remember a few on this board quibbled that with a major mistake, she was placed in front of a clean Bonaly.

    '06 Olympics LP - See above. Some thought a clean Suguri should've placed ahead of a flawed Slute here. I personally remember Suguri's performance being So I don't necessarily agree with that.

    '02 GPF - That win was a travesty, and one I definitely remember

    Oh, and the '00 NHK [I think] - Sloppy Slute beat a really inspired Butyrskaya. That was also a pretty lame result

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    I can only say I miss Irina...

    and I never was a huge fan

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Perhaps not in the results, I think some people just felt her marks were a little high for certain segments of the competition. From the ones I can remember -
    '98 Olympics SP - I don't really know how I feel about it, but I remember a few on this board quibbled that with a major mistake, she was placed in front of a clean Bonaly.
    The result had nothing to do with Slutskaya really, it was all about Bonaly who the judges in no way considered a top skater anymore and were probably already mortified there were so many mistakes that night they ended up having to put her in the final LP flight. And Bonaly's SP had a triple toe-triple toe combination which is less valued than a triple lutz combination in the SP (under 6.0 that is) and an easier triple salchow as a solo jump. Slutskaya had a better double axel, her triple loop was better than Bonaly's triple salchow, her spins were better, even her footwork and spirals were better, and her skating skills are much superior to Bonaly's. If you look at Irina's marks they were very low on the tech. side reflecting a double lutz-double toe combination, and still overall enough to beat Bonaly's overall low marks. Still I can understand why many felt she should be lower in the SP but I understand the placings personally. In the end it is not like she medaled anyway, even though her LP was strong enough to make an argument for it (though not saying she was robbed or anything).

    '06 Oly I persmpics LP - See above. Some thought a clean Suguri should've placed ahead of a flawed Slute here.onally remember Suguri's performance being So I don't necessarily agree with that.
    Well that is my feelings too. I never really saw much of a strong case for Suguri being robbed here. She had mistakes in the LP too, a doubled triple flip and some other shaky landings. And a 1 triple advantage over the 2 programs is not enough for Suguri to beat Irina generally, as Irina is obviously a superior skater to Fumie and her base mark over the two programs will be higher. That is unless Fumie's performance was really inspirational which her boring LP in 2006 definitely wasnt. Irina skating a clean short program will always be very hard for anyone to beat in that phase including Kwan over the years (though an excellent Sasha did manage to do it barely in Turin) and for sure will have a significant lead over Fumie after the SP as well. Fumie didnt have the levels on many of her spins and non jump elements in Turin either.

    '02 GPF - That win was a travesty, and one I definitely remember
    It was definitely, although one funny thing is if the results of the final free program had been: 1)Hughes, 2)Kwan, 3)Slutskaya, the final results would still have had Irina winning, and those could have been justified as Hughes skated cleanly with a triple-triple, while Kwan had 6 triples, no triple-triple, and a fall. Although I still would have gone with Kwan over Hughes since her overall quality and performance was higher.

    I also thought Slutskaya should have won the 96 GP final instead of Kwan. Kwan fell on a simple triple toe in the short and should have been 5th in the SP, while Irina should have been higher than Choiunard in the SP, which would have given Irina the victory overall. So ultimately I agree with Slutskaya having won 4 GP finals and Michelle 1.

    Oh, and the '00 NHK [I think] - Sloppy Slute beat a really inspired Butyrskaya. That was also a pretty lame result
    I agree with that one. The Russian fed. always favored Irina over Maria as their #1 though and heavily campaigned as such. Which made sense since Irina always had more potential than Maria did and was more of a threat to win major titles than Maria was over the years. It also meant Irina would be scored generously with the strong Russian fed. backing her fully (I know I am sort of contradicting my thread title now, LOL) and Maria would be scored stingily, have to really earn everything she got, and never really get the benefit of doubt if there was any. Which was apparent in general throughout both their careers, but never moreso in a head to head confrontation then here.

    The only time Maria got support as the Russian #1 was while Irina was in her worst slump in 98-99. In 2000 when Irina returned to form I think the Russian federation shared support for both for the year out of respect to Maria as the reigning World Champion. Once Maria failed to defend her World title in 2000 (even with Irina also not winning that year) they now felt free to dump the old Butyrskaya who was going to be 29 by SLC for good, and put all their backing behind Irina again. It is funny to think if Maria had beaten Irina at that NHK she would have been the only skater undefeated on the grand prix series that season even while doing 3 events, which is funny in a way since she had been written off as more than a bronze contender ever again by the time of the 2001 Worlds only months later.



    I definitely see what you are saying BTW.

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    Irina was a jumper. The one program of hers I really enjoyed was the Cotton Eyed Joe exhibition but that is really it.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    I think Irina's 2002 World title is as debatable as Michelle's 1996 World title, but Irina had a legitimate claim to that title as well as the rest. She was very good.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 12-02-2010 at 04:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    ...
    Oh, and the '00 NHK [I think] - Sloppy Slute beat a really inspired Butyrskaya. That was also a pretty lame result
    I can't help wondering if Irina's silver at Worlds in 2000 was due to an unwillingness to put Maria 2nd in the FS (thereby giving her the gold). While I am a devout Kwanatic, and think that MK's FS was one of her best ever, I also thought that Maria was undermarked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    I think Irina's 2002 World title is as debatable as Michelle's 1996 World title, but Irina had a legitimate claim to that title as well as the rest. She was very good.
    Not really. The LP victory is debateable, the overall result isnt. Kwan after a mistake in the SP was only 3rd in that phase so needed Irina to be only 3rd in the LP to win overall.

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    Overrated compared to whom? To Kwan or to other skaters? I think she has never been overrated compared to Kwan, but few times she could be overrated compared to other skaters like for example Maria.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post


    I agree with that one. The Russian fed. always favored Irina over Maria as their #1 though and heavily campaigned as such. Which made sense since Irina always had more potential than Maria did and was more of a threat to win major titles than Maria was over the years.

    I agree with you, Russia wanted to have a big star and Irina was fit to this role better than Maria. Maria had always been in the shadow of Slutskaya, just like Sasha had always been in the shadow of Michelle.

    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    I can't help wondering if Irina's silver at Worlds in 2000 was due to an unwillingness to put Maria 2nd in the FS (thereby giving her the gold). While I am a devout Kwanatic, and think that MK's FS was one of her best ever, I also thought that Maria was undermarked.
    I'm curious about it too! I think Maria was better than Irina, but Michelle was the best of them all and she really deserved to win. If Maria had been 2nd in the FS she would have won, so maybe judges wanted to give Michelle medal without caring about others? I know it can sound a bit cruel, but they both are russians so who cared...

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    I didnt think Maria's LP at the 2000 Worlds was that good. It certainly paled in comparision to her short program a day earlier which IMO was her best performance ever. She made 2 major mistakes, skated very tenative and slow, and her Swan Lake was a fail compared to some of the great ones past and showcased many of her flaws rather than hiding them and showing her strengths like her short program did, and she had less technical content than Michelle and Irina to begin with so she really had to skate clean to stay in 1st. Michelle had 7 triples, 2 triple lutzes, a triple-triple. Irina had 6 triples, 2 triple lutzes, no triple-triple, 1 mistake. Maria had 5 triples, 1 triple lutz, no triple-triple, 0 mistakes. I know it is not just about jumps and mistakes but on that alone the LP order was pretty clear.

    And I dont think she was put 3rd to keep her from winning the gold overall. Irina's marks were in fact very high and much higher than Maria's, and Irina was quite close to winning the LP and the gold directly over Michelle by winning the LP. It is funny since this is another case of what I meant by an undeserved win for Irina which nearly but didnt happen, and her often inflated scores but still almost always ending with the right result in the end. It seems the judges were quite impressed with Irina's flawed and not great peformance and considered it way better than Maria's, and some even considered it possibly winning outright by winning the LP as hard as it is to believe. I dont think Michelle was ever the judging panels first choice to win the 2000 Worlds anyway, so the judges wouldnt manipulate placings to attain that result. Michelle's marks in the LP were still alot lower than Maria's in the SP, and Irina won the tech. mark over Michelle in the LP even with a big pop, only 6 triples, maybe a two footed 2nd triple lutz barely in, no triple-triple, and a generic bland attempt of Carmen. However with Michelle skating such an amazing LP, Irina making mistakes, and Maria skating worse than Irina, that was just the way the result had to go.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 12-02-2010 at 05:34 PM.

  11. #11

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    There was always a little strategy in the individual judges minds to get the placements the way they wanted under the 6.0 system because factor placements had gaps that were unconscionable. There were actually times when it was easier to get the clear winner into 1st by placing them in 2nd in the freeskate.

    I think Michelle would have won with a cumulative scoring system like the IJS in 2000 because over the course of the whole competition Michelle only messed up one landing and had a 3/3, while Maria and Irina messed up one landing and popped a jump. Also, Michelle's layback spin was quite good that years, but looked like the end all be all of laybacks in comparison to Irina's and Maria's layback, especially considering that Biellman was not considered a layback spin back then.

    Under the 6.0, I think Michelle would have lost if Maria has been given the nod for her presentation over Irina since technically Maria and Irina skated about the same. However, no way would anybody except Maria felt satisfied with Kwan placing lower than first considering that Michelle had so much technical content, including the 3/3, improved layback spin, and she had the most speed of the top 3 that night (which was also a shock since she had a reputation for being slow up to that point.)

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Not really. The LP victory is debateable, the overall result isnt. Kwan after a mistake in the SP was only 3rd in that phase so needed Irina to be only 3rd in the LP to win overall.
    I think this was the first year that the qualifying round factored into the scoring. In previous years, Michelle would have controlled her own destiny just being 3rd in the SP.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 12-02-2010 at 05:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    2005 euro's when she won with 3 jumps.
    2002 worlds, 2006 olympics shouldn't have been in 3rd.
    but compared to how they are skating now. the results seemed justiifed and michelle results are underappreicated she should have won more.
    irinai is good.-but overrated at times . not all but at times.
    it seems the 60's were harsher than the cop. now the skaters can skate sloppy and still win.
    2001 worlds her technqiue was sloppy despite the two triple triple. but one triple triple double sloppy out of the jump, spin was a bit sloppy.
    but everyone is overrated at times.
    but now compared to back then--they skating seems better, now more sloppy. yes more transitions but at what cost,
    sloppy skating.

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    Major decisions I would have made differently:

    Bute over Slute for bronze at 1996 Worlds
    Slute over Lipinski in the lp of 1997 Worlds
    Liashenko over Slute in the sp of 1998 Olympics
    Slute over Bute in the lp of 1998 Olympics
    Bute over Slute for silver at 1998 Worlds
    Kwan over Slute in the sp of 2000 Worlds
    Bute over Slute in the lp of 2000 Worlds
    Bute over Slute in the lp of 2000 NHK
    Kwan over Slute for gold at 2001 GPF
    Bute over Slute in the lp of 2001 Worlds
    Kwan and Hughes over Slute in the lp at 2002 GPF
    Kwan over Slute in the lp of 2002 Olympics
    Kwan over Slute in the lp of 2002 Worlds
    Liashenko and Poykio over Slute at the lp of 2005 Euros
    Kwan, Kostner, Arakawa and Cohen over Slute in the sp of 2005 Worlds
    Arakawa and Suguri over Slute at the sp of 2006 Olympics
    Suguri and Rochette over Slute at the lp of 2006 Olympics

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Arakawa and Suguri over Slute at the sp of 2006 Olympics
    Thanks for that, I can always use a good laugh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    I think Irina's 2002 World title is as debatable as Michelle's 1996 World title, but Irina had a legitimate claim to that title as well as the rest. She was very good.
    I would have given the LP to Michelle. But Michelle made a mistake in the SP and was too far away from the gold after the SP.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    She deserved her European titles. And she deserved her Grand Prix final victories in 2000, 2001, and 2005. The only medals I can think of she possibly didnt deserve were her World bronze in 96 and her Grand Prix final win in 2002. However I thought she should have medalled at the 97 Worlds (undermarked in the LP IMO)
    I don't agree about her European titles. She rarely skated well at Euros, and her 2003 Euros title was not clear to me. And I don't remember the other one questionnable, IMO (maybe 2005).
    About the 1997 Worlds, do you think she should have been ahead of Tara in the LP or ahead of both Tara and Michelle ? She was far from being artistic, and her LP, as enjoyable as it was, was not really mature ! So, maybe ahead of Tara, but not Michelle !
    I agree that she didn't deserve her 1996 Worlds bronze, due to her 1996 Euros title, not about her actual performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Major decisions I would have made differently:
    Liashenko and Poykio over Slute at the lp of 2005 Euros
    Kwan, Kostner, Arakawa and Cohen over Slute in the sp of 2005 Worlds
    Oh yes, those ones !
    2005 Worlds SP was a joke !

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    I would have given the LP to Michelle. But Michelle made a mistake in the SP and was too far away from the gold after the SP.
    Agreed, although I never really decided which I would have given the LP too. Both skated cleanly with the exact same jump content. I agreed with Tracy Wilson's accessment comparing the two. "I think Michelle had a shot at Irina technically here had she done the triple-triple combination. As it was technically Irina had higher jumps, faster spins, more difficult spins, and faster skating. Artistically I would go with Michelle just due to the overall refinement of the program." So really even the LP could go either way based on that accessment, if in fact you agree with it as I do. And then adding in the SP where Irina of course skated much better the overall win becomes a clear one IMO.


    I don't agree about her European titles. She rarely skated well at Euros, and her 2003 Euros title was not clear to me. And I don't remember the other one questionnable, IMO (maybe 2005).
    I agree her 2003 title wasnt clear. It was very close between her and Sokolova and some thought Sokolova should have won. Both made some minor errors and Sokolova had the triple lutz-triple toe in both programs. However Irina is far superior to Sokolova in spins, footwork, and pretty much everything including presentation. So I personally never disagreed with the result that I recall but I would like to have the performances on tape to watch again.

    As for 2005 I am surprised that was ever a controversy. Maybe she shouldnt have won the LP but definitely overall. Yeah she didnt skate well but she had no competition here and nobody skated cleanly. And a 3 triple Slutskaya should be expected to still be competitive with a 5 triple Poykio with a popped double axel, and since naturally Slutskaya with a clean short would be far ahead of any of the others in this field after the short program, any other result would have been a big surprise.


    About the 1997 Worlds, do you think she should have been ahead of Tara in the LP or ahead of both Tara and Michelle ? She was far from being artistic, and her LP, as enjoyable as it was, was not really mature ! So, maybe ahead of Tara, but not Michelle !
    My scoring of the LP at the 97 Worlds:

    Kwan- 5.8 technical, 5.9 presentation
    Slutskaya- 5.9 technical, 5.8 presentation
    Lipinski- 5.8 technical, 5.7 artistic

    I would have had Irina 2nd in the LP which would have lifted her to the bronze overall. I thought her performance was much better than Tara personally even if it wasnt that artistic and if Tara had an extra triple and 2nd triple lutz. Irina's huge and excellent jumps are far superior to Tara's, and her spins and other elements were much better than Tara's too. And her triple-triple combo was almost equally hard to Tara's (triple loop-triple loop and triple salchow-triple loop). As for presentation even with her lack of maturity,dreadful posture and style at that point, and that ghastly music and black witch dress she wore, I would say she was superior to Tara too. Tara in 1997 looked like a little girl on ice, no maturity at all, Irina's performance was very fast and powerful, and she interpreted and hit the accents of her horrible music very well.

    I agree that she didn't deserve her 1996 Worlds bronze, due to her 1996 Euros title, not about her actual performance.
    Agreed, and her performances all season. She was probably considered the 2nd favorite for Worlds behind Kwan that year due to her skating that season, so basically she already had a medal of some kind almost reserved for her it seems. Which was not right as she really didnt deserve it here IMO but anyhow.

  18. #18
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    Slutskaya won the SP at the 2001 Cup of Russia with a fall over a clean Nikodinov and Sokolova. The overall results probably wouldn't have changed because Slutskaya should have been placed 3rd in the SP over Volchkova who also fell, but I still don't get how any judge could justify that one.

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    Irina's 2003 Euros SP

    Elena's 2003 Euros SP

    Irina's 2003 Euros LP

    Elena's 2003 Euros LP
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

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    I had heard Maria Butyrskaya wasn't well-liked by her own federation, so maybe Slutskaya was pushed by the Russian Fed over M.B. However, I never found Irina really overrated. She did well in a lot of events when she skated well, but when she didn't, she usually wasn't rewarded.

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