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  1. #1

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    Masha Butyrskaya at 1993 Worlds

    I have always been intrigued by the pre-1996 career history of Maria Butyrskaya. What happened to her at 1993 worlds? Apparently she cost the Russians a spot in the Lillehammer Olympics, or so they said. This ushered in years when supposedly she was told in no uncertain terms to retire. Is there any video footage of this worlds performance?

    She looked fine at 1993 Europeans. Her hair was unfortunately colored by someone who ran out of color. Later, she came a long way from where she was here in the early nineties. She evolved into one of the most feminine and glamorous skaters in the history of the sport.

    1993 EUROPEANS SP

    1992-93 SKATE CANADA FS

    1994 GOODWILL GAMES FS
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 05-26-2013 at 01:38 AM.

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    She just choked and fell apart just like Kwiatkowski and Malinina who were in the same group and also didnt make it out. Kreig landed less triples than all 3 but here spins were so much better she made it in over them. Had Maria skated well at Worlds she might have made top 10 but she would have to skate better than she did at Europeans as the standard at the 93 Worlds was really high and Kulovana came 10th with great skates.

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    Who was doing her choreography in those years? It was unfortunate. You can see the potential she had--the striking body--but the 1994 GWG FS is a study in bad taste. She began to have interesting choreography once she teamed up with Tchaikovskaia. My understanding is that Masha did much of the choreography for "Fever," "Otoñal," "Swan Lake," "Scene D'Amour," "Seventeen Moments of Spring," "Melody of the White Nights," and "Tale of a Journey" herself. I think Butyrskaya's vision of skating was intelligent and feminine. She also possessed a genius of sorts for jumping--despite those horrendous, stiff knees..
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 05-26-2013 at 08:08 AM.

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    The only time I liked Maria as a skater was 1998-2000 when she smoothed out her movements and jump landings considerably, and greatly improved her spins. Other than those years she was a jerky skater both technically and artistically.

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    I agree that 2001-2002 was a regression into jerky movements and nervous landings, but she was still beautiful. I love this program to Tariverdiev's "Seventeen Moments of Spring." Even with its technical awkwardness, it is rather more alluring and seductive than what her rivals accomplished.

    MARIA BUTYRSKAYA - VANCOUVER WORLDS 2001 FS
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 05-26-2013 at 03:16 AM.

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    To be fair to Slutskaya, Kwan, and fifteen-year-old Hughes, I didn't think they were going for seductive and alluring with their performances.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-26-2013 at 05:06 AM.

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    Kwan's "Song of the Black Swan" was alluring, but not quite to the extent that Butyrskaya's FS was. I have no idea what Slutskaya or Hughes were going for, but both of their Don Quijote's were unmemorable and slightly ugly. Hughes had her modest cleavage out and Slutskaya went wild with the fishnets. Their styling choices alone were tragic.

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    Slutskaya's Don Quixote costume was one of the ugliest I ever saw and it made her look pudgy as well.

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    I also liked Butes 96 LP. Although she peaked around 99-00, she had a really good program. I liked her performance more than Slutskayas at worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Slutskaya's Don Quixote costume was one of the ugliest I ever saw and it made her look pudgy as well.
    I wish she had worn that green dress from the 1999-2000 GPF when she first performed Don Quixote. I know it probably wasn't as "in-character" but it was much more flattering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I wish she had worn that green dress from the 1999-2000 GPF when she first performed Don Quixote. I know it probably wasn't as "in-character" but it was much more flattering.
    Oh yes it was! I also think it suited Don Quixote just fine.

    I also liked Butes 96 LP. Although she peaked around 99-00, she had a really good program. I liked her performance more than Slutskayas at worlds.

    Butyrskaya deserved the bronze at the 96 Worlds. The judges had already pre judged the podium as Kwan, Chen, and Slutskaya in some order though. I think even had Maria skated cleanly, and even with Irina's huge fall, Maria still wouldnt have gotten a medal there.

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl9yRZOapKc

    I like the pink costume akin to a Latin American Sesame Street character
    Last edited by bardtoob; 05-26-2013 at 07:08 AM.

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    I had always thought she was dressed as a pink cowboy (or cowgirl). Atleast that is what I remember thinking as a kid watching it.

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    What was with the 1993-1994 season where skaters wore those puffy sleeves? Glad that style didn't last very long.

    I had a question about the qualifying spots for Lillehammer. Didn't they have a Qualification competition for that one like what Lu Chen got to qualify for Nagano? If not, I wonder why.

    Way OT, but I was always confused as to why Russia only received 2 Men spots for Nagano when Alexei Yagudin placed third at 1997 Worlds. I thought during that time, a skater secured three spots if they medaled. Even if they needed the top two finishers to place in spots that added to 13 or less (which I don't think were the rules at the time) Yagudin and Kulik's placements would have secured that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Way OT, but I was always confused as to why Russia only received 2 Men spots for Nagano when Alexei Yagudin placed third at 1997 Worlds. I thought during that time, a skater secured three spots if they medaled. Even if they needed the top two finishers to place in spots that added to 13 or less (which I don't think were the rules at the time) Yagudin and Kulik's placements would have secured that.
    Urmanov's withdrawal after the short program added 24(?; well, anyway, a lot of) points to Russia's total. I don't know when the rules were changed to keep that sort of thing from happening again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falling_dance View Post
    Urmanov's withdrawal after the short program added 24(?; well, anyway, a lot of) points to Russia's total. I don't know when the rules were changed to keep that sort of thing from happening again.
    Ah. That doesn't seem very fair. Guess that's why they changed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falling_dance View Post
    Urmanov's withdrawal after the short program added 24(?; well, anyway, a lot of) points to Russia's total. I don't know when the rules were changed to keep that sort of thing from happening again.

    1997 counted all skaters competing. They changed it the year after that. Urmanov added 16 points by withdrawing so the Russians were screwed out of the 3rd spot no matter what the other 2 did. Nowadays his results would not have an impact. Dan Hollander's results counting at the 3rd American also hurt them from having 3 spots in Nagano.

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    Speaking of 1996 Worlds, who couldn't love Yulia Vorobieva's cowboy FS? Nowhere to be found on Youtube, but it was delightfully hokey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I had a question about the qualifying spots for Lillehammer. Didn't they have a Qualification competition for that one like what Lu Chen got to qualify for Nagano? If not, I wonder why.
    They did not. Probably because it was the first time they really needed it (remember 1993 was the first year of qualifying rounds at Worlds) and it didn't occur to them to plan one.

    The breakup of the Soviet Union and the 2-year instead of the usual 4-year gap between Olympics (not to mention reinstatement although that didn't so much affect the number of spots) really changed the landscape for the 1994 Olympics.

    I don't know whether, in Spring 1993, the RFSF would have been in a position to convince the ISU to create a fall qualifying competition for Olympic spots.

    I am curious, since Petrenko won 1992 Worlds for CIS, why it was Russia and not Ukraine that got three men's spots at 1993 Worlds. The men's field in both those countries was pretty comparable at that point.

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    On a broader point, besides Butyrskaya, the career paths of most Soviet / Russian ladies is quite intriguing, and maybe worthy of a book.

    Prior to 1976, I don't recall any Soviet ladies placing well or even having a name. I believe there have been interviews given since by former Russian skaters that state the Soviet Fed pushed any talented ladies into pairs and ice dance, but would still harangue the single Soviet ladies for not keeping up with the US and GDR. (In fact, I think that was a Kira Ivanova interview). But, Vodorezova burst on the scene as a 12 year old at Innsbruck and made news even in the West, even if she finished middle of the pack. In 1977, she actually won the LP ahead of Fratianne and Poetzsch and competed again in 1978.

    But Vodorezova became injured for a long period of time and did not return until 1982. Kira Ivanova replaced her as the top Soviet lady from 1979 - 81. She disappeared from the scene in 1981, when she fell out of favor with the Soviet Fed under mysterious circumstances and Vodorezova returned. Vodorezova won the 1st Soviet ladies medal in 1983 (I think?) and Kondrashova made a name for herself by finishing 5th at 1983 Worlds.

    The Soviet ladies all did fairly well in 1984. Ivanova was back and won the Soviet Union's first medal in Ladies. All 3 Soviet ladies had fairly high finishes and all finished in the top 10. Kondrashova would go onto '84 Worlds and take a higher step on the podium to finish behind Witt for the Silver medal (albeit with no Sumners or Chin present). Vodorezova retired and Ivanova would have the performances of her life in 1985 to equal Kondrashova's Silver medal finish the year before. I think Kondrashova was 4th in 1985. But then both started to falter on the road to Calgary and became pretty inconsequential by then.

    Natalia Lebedeva was a player even in the 1985-88 era on the national front, but when it was her turn to shine in the next quadrennial, she was sunk as a major player at Worlds by the disappearance of figures in 1990. In the interim before the complete demise of the Soviet Union, you had skaters like Tatiana Rachkova and Julia Vorobieva trying for respectable finishes but the Soviet Union fell of the mapp

    Skip forward to the Russian era after the demise of the Soviet Union and there were some pretty dismal years for Russian ladies, too (the point of this thread being one of them - Butyrskaya being a disaster at 1993 Worlds and had no one in Lillehamer, although Olga Markova did well by winning the Bronze medal at '94 Euros and Butyrskaya was right behind her in 4th. The Russians were back in 1995 and Olga Markova was a threat for a medal, but slid downhill in the coming years.

    Then, Slutskaya became the 1st Russian / Soviet lady to win Euros in 1996. I think she became a favorite for the Russian Fed, which ushered in some drama between Slutskaya and Butyrskaya, but it ushered in an era of strong Russian ladies in the coming years - Slutskaya, Butyrskaya, Volchkova, Soldatova, Sokolova. I think Russia had the deepest team in the World around 1999.

    Now, they have a huge raft of talent these days ... Wow. Sorry for the long post. ..

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