I voted for both Chen and Slutskaya since I think it could have gone to either of them.
I do remember some complaining at the time Maria didnt get the bronze, and I dont think anyone would have complained if she did. However I think her performance is overrated and kind of sucked. She landed only 2 of her planned 7 triples cleanly, or 3 if we credit the majorly shaky triple loop. She had 5 mistakes, and didnt even attempt a 2nd triple lutz or triple-triple. She badly two footed both her triple lutz and triple flip, and doubled her last 2 planned triples. Chen landed 7 triples, 5 of them clean, and had only 2 mistakes, and both 2 triple lutzes clean, and a triple-triple ableit not totally clean. I know Chen had poor quality jumps and really poor spins, but she did attempt and complete much more technical content, and had many fewer mistakes than Maria, and artistic wise her skate was her best unlike Maria. Slutskaya had 5 triples and a triple-triple, and the program was charming and suited to her style although her artistic was somewhat poor back then.
Artistically Maria's performance was about 50% as strong as her 98 Europeans, 99 Worlds, and even 98 Worlds performances, so to give her a higher 2nd mark than Kwan or Chen is to say her performances at those other events must have been twice as artistic as Kwan and Chen's Olympic programs. That Maria lost the bronze by .1 with such a terrible performance shows the judges were always planning to have her on the podium with Kwan and Lipinski that year and she choked and blew it. Sometimes the judges have hard done Maria but in this occasion she had nobody to blame but herself, and I am surprised so many think she should have gotten the bronze with such a terrible skate.
Here is how I mark the two programs:
Short- Maria 5.7 tech, 5.8 art. Chen 5.2 tech, 5.6 art. Slutskaya 4.8 tech., 5.5 art
Long- Maria 5.4 tech., 5.7 art, Chen 5.5 or 5.6 tech., 5.8 art., Slutskaya 5.8 tech., 5.6 art.