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Profile: Natalia Mishkutenok & Artur Dmitriev

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Dec 22, 2013.

Who were the better pair: Mishkutenok & Dmitriev or Kazakova & Dmitriev?

Poll closed Jan 22, 2014.
  1. Natalia Mishkutenok & Artur Dmitriev

    65 vote(s)
  2. Oksana Kazakova & Artur Dmitriev

    4 vote(s)
  3. Don't Know

    1 vote(s)
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    This profile takes a look back at Mishkutenok & Dmitriev's competitive career (1987-92, with a brief comeback for the 1993/94 season)

    Natalia Mishkutenok was born on the 14th July 1970 in Minsk, Belarus, whilst Artur Dmitriev was born on the 21st January 1968 in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. They formed their partnership in 1986 and were coached by Tamara Moskvina in Saint Petersburg.


    Short Program: Entry of the Gladiators

    At the Soviet Championships, they finished 2nd behind Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov

    Their 2nd place at the Soviet Championships meant that they were selected to compete at the European Championships, where they finished 4th (winners: Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov)

    Short Program


    Short Program: Entry of the Gladiators, Free Skate: Jewish Folk Music

    M&D began the season by competing at Skate America, which they won (second: Marina Eltsova / Sergei Zaitsev)

    Free Skate, Exhibition

    Next, M&D again finished as runners up in the Soviet Championships behind Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov.

    At the European Championships, they finished 3rd (winners: Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov)

    Short Program, Free Skate


    Short Program: The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns, Free Skate: Jewish Folk Music

    M&D began the season by winning Skate America (second: Kristi Yamaguchi / Rudy Galindo)

    Free Skate, Exhibition

    For the third consecutive year, M&D finished 2nd at the Soviet Championships behind Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov

    At the European Championships, M&D finished 3rd in a Soviet clean sweep of the podium (winners: Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov. runners up: Larisa Selezneva / Oleg Makarov).

    Short Program

    At their first World Championships, M&D also finished 3rd (winners: Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov). They had been in 2nd place after the SP, but fell back to 3rd overall after a 3rd placed finish in the FS which contained some mistakes.

    Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition

    The final competition for the season for M&D was the Goodwill Games, where they finished 2nd behind Gordeeva & Grinkov

    Short Program, Free Skate


    Short Program: The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns, Free Skate: Liebestraum

    With Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov retiring after the Goodwill Games, M&D became one of favourites to take over as the number 1 pair in the world.

    They started the season by competing at the Nations Cup, which they won (second: Christine Hough / Doug Ladret).

    Next, M&D competed at the NHK Trophy, where they finished 3rd (winners: Elena Bechke / Denis Petrov, runners up: Isabelle Brasseur / Lloyd Eisler)

    Free Skate

    M&D finished as runners up at the Soviet Championships for the 4th year running (winners: Evgenia Shishkova / Vadim Naumov)

    Having had a mixed first half to the season, M&D moved up to a new level by winning the European Championships. In the process, they defeated Elena Bechke & Denis Petrov (who finished 2nd) who had beaten them at the NHK Trophy, and Evgenia Shishkova & Vadim Naumov (who finished 3rd) who had beaten them in the Soviet Championships.

    Short Program, Free Skate

    M&D then won the world title for the first time, beating Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler into 2nd place. Brasseur & Eisler had taken the lead after the short program. However, a superb performance with their Liebestraum free skate, enable M&D to win both the free skate and the world title. One of the highlights of their performance was their signature move, the "Natasha's spin" (named after Mishkutenok), in which Mishkutenok (who was renowned for her flexibility) would perform a split with her head turned upside down with her arm around Dmitriev's leg (whilst Dmitriev held her upraised skate), to achieve a position in which they were vertically aligned during the spin.

    Short Program, Free Skate, Exhibitions


    Short Program: Don Quixote, Free Skate: Liebestraum

    M&D began the season by competing at the Grand Prix International de Paris (these days known as the Trophée Eric Bompard), which they won (second: Radka Kovaříková / René Novotný)

    Free Skate

    Next, M&D retained their title at the European Championships (second: Elena Bechke / Denis Petrov)

    Free Skate

    M&D then won the Olympic title, which they won easily (winning both the SP and LP). They had struggled with their SBS 2A's in practice prior to the SP, but when it counted most, they landed them in competition in their SP. Mishkutenok did single out on hers in the FS, and had a double footed landing during the SBS 3T in the LP, but they were their only mistakes, and their combination of athleticism and artistry put them well ahead of the competition.

    Short Program, Free Skate, Medal Ceremony, Profile

    M&D finished the season by retaining their World title. They retired after these Championships, and finished with a brilliant performance in the FS with their Liebestraum program, which earned them 4 6.0's and 5 5.9's for Artistic Impression.

    Short Program, Long Program


    Short Program: Don Quixote / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninov, Free Skate: Piano Concerto No 2
    by Sergei Rachmaninov

    A relaxation in the rules allowed some skaters who had turned professional to compete again at the 1994 Olympics. Hence, M&D decided to return for the 1993/94 season. They began the season by competing at the Piruetten, a test event held in Lillehammer in advance of the 1994 Olympics. They won the event, with Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler in 2nd.

    Free Skate

    Next, M&D competed at the Grand Prix International de Paris, which they also won (second: Marina Eltsova / Andrei Bushkov)

    Free Skate

    At the Russian Championships, M&D finished 2nd behind fellow returnee's, Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov. Bizarrely, M&D competed in 5 national championships during their career (4 Soviet, and 1 Russian) and they finished 2nd in every one of them.

    Next, M&D finished 3rd at the European Championships (winners: Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov, runners up: Evgenia Shishkova / Vadim Naumov)

    Short Program, Free Skate

    At the Olympics, M&D finished 2nd behind Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov. G&G won both the SP and the LP. Nevertheless, M&D performed their Rachmaninov LP brilliantly, and many believe that they were under-marked. Hence, whilst G&G produced the better performance overall, and deserved their win, the scores should have been closer than they were.

    Short Program, Long Program, Exhibition

    Next, M&D competed at the Goodwill Games, which would be their final ever performance before retiring. They won the competition, with Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkov in 2nd.

    Short Program, Free Skate

    Kazakova & Dmitriev

    Artur Dmitriev returned to competitive skating in 1995, this time with Oksana Kazakova. Kazakova & Dmitriev would go on to win the 1998 Olympic title (Short Program, Free Skate)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  2. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

    :wuzrobbed: OMG possibly my favourite pair EVER.

    The 94 result still baffles me a tad. I can cope with G&G winning. What I don't really understand is the total absence of first places ordinals for M&D, nor their marks. 5.6 and 5.7 from the US judge?! Two judges had them below B&E?! Sigh.

    Still, their performances speak for themselves. Their Liszt and Rach are classics.
  3. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    Maofan7, your retrospectives are so wonderful. Thank you.
  4. lao1234

    lao1234 Member

    I agree!

    But I have to wonder the odds of not one person voting for K/D over M/D...because people have eyes.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  5. unchat123

    unchat123 Active Member

    A little OT but according to wiki Kazakova had two previous partners prior to Artur and competed at the international junior and senior levels. Can someone explain to me how she can have such an atrocious death spiral? I just recently read Christine Brennan's Edge of Glory where she says that only after the SP in Nagano Kazakova finally said to Tamara, "ok, teach me the death spiral." This is just baffling to me.
  6. suki

    suki Well-Known Member

    Natalia was DIVINE! Does anyone know what she is doing today? I know she married a hockey player back in the '90s, but they divorced a while ago. She had remarried, had a child, and was coaching in the US last I heard. I would give anything to take lessons from her. She left an indelible impression on the sport. Just LOVE her:)
    Dr.Siouxs and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

  8. unchat123

    unchat123 Active Member

  9. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Well-Known Member

    Thank you for putting this together Maofan! Does anyone remember Natalia Mishkutenok's brief pro career with hockey player/ex-husband Craig Shepherd? They did a few shows and competed at the 1997 U.S. Open.
  10. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    Oh my, too cute for words! I don't know why, but I love seeing pictures & clips of skaters' kids.

    I agree with suki. Natalia was amazing, definitely one of my top 3 favorite ladies pairs skaters of all time. She had this fascinating combination of aloofness and passion on the ice. On the surface was a cool, queenly demeanor, sort of like Tatiana Volosozhar has now. But there was a fire underneath that. Natalia was the perfect foil to Artur.
  11. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    M&D by a mile. I liked K&D also, but their resume is far weaker than M&D's.

    M&D- 1990 world bronze, 1991 & 1992 world champs, 1992 Olympic champs, 1994 OG silver.

    K&D- 1997 world bronze, 1998 Olympic champs (had to withdraw from 98 worlds).

    M&D had a dreamy look to them, and their passion on the ice was unparalleled. They had a better BODS than K&D who barely made it. I liked many of K&D's innovative moves, but overall I did not absolutely love them the way I did M&D.
  12. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Absolutely adorable! How old is she? 7? She has quite a personality on the ice at such a young age, and musicality too.
  13. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

    M/D are my favorite pairs team, thanks for posting. :)
  14. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

    Time to get on my soapbox:

    I HATED the way Moskvina/Dmitriev treated Natalia. I remember a painful puff piece where they criticized her weight, and Artur said he wanted a new partner, and Natalia was just crying and I felt terrible for her. This wasn't a one-time incident: they called her "fat," "lazy," "moody," etc. and never gave her credit for the fact that during important competitions she pulled it together and she was NOT FAT. I adored her flexibility, her gracious demeanor, and well, just everything about her.

    I saw recent photos of her -- she's gorgeous still, and thin. Her daughter is adorable. Artur otoh ... he hasn't kept in shape at all.

    They were still my favorite pair of all time and I loved Natalia.
  15. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    While I loved Miskuteniok & Dmitriev and always will, I dont think the part about her being "moody" is a myth. I have heard many others who know her and have watched them practice often at pro events, major amateur events, say the same thing. I dont know if she genuinely loved competition and the stress of it the way many other champions though, and especialy how Artur and Moskvina did. I think she loved to skate, and obviously was happy when she won, but I dont think she truly loved to compete, and that was probably what created some of her emotional highs and lows, and some of the friction between the team. I always got the impression she was a more emotional and sensitive person in general than most Russian champions, and it wasnt always easy for her or those she was working with. It would have been nice if others were more understanding maybe, but in the Russian culture it wasnt what people were used to from their champions. It is pretty clear that in their one season as pros she was not motivated to work, and was not happy skating. I cant imagine he would ever lose motivation or hunger to compete and win, even as a pro, but she clearly did for awhile. I do remember an interesting comment from Debbi Wilkes before their 1994 Lillehammer LP:

    "I think this performance is for Artur. When they first decided to comeback Natalia was very, very undecided about it. He persuaded her. It is almost his energy that is keeping them going."

    I do think Kazahkova, Moskinva, and Dmitriev seemed to be a more perfect fit on an emotional level, and they did blossom into an excellent team eventually. I dont enjoy them as much as Miskutienok & Dmitriev though. Natalia looked like someone who went to ballet school for years, whether she did or not, a trademark of all the great Russian pairs skaters, despite the differening styles they present. Oksana not so much, and her flexability while it was there, it looks like it took alot more hard work and wasnt nearly as natural as it was for Natalia. They also didnt have anywhere near the number of signature programs. They shared alot of the other same traits, very strong throws, great innovation, both flexible lady partners (but not as natural for Oksana like I said), very intersting lift exists, outstanding spins.
  16. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

    I loved Natalia with Artur. They were magical, even if there was tension and there were problems. Somehow they made it work on the ice and their programs were masterpieces.

    When Oksana joined Artur it was like he and Moskvina were trying to mold her into being Natalia 2.0, making her work to become flexible etc., so she could do some of what M/D did. She turned into a great pair skater, and they achieved a well deserved gold medal, but they didn't quite have the magic he and Natalia did.

    So many skaters never find the right partner to have success with, Artur was fortunate to find 2.
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I do think at first Moskina was trying to turn her into Natalia 2.0 but I think after the first season she eased up on that and let the pair form their own style somewhat. They were better off that way. It is better to have your own look, than to be a poorer imitation of someone elses.

    It is incredible Oksana could rise to the level of an Olympic Champion and World Champion caliber pairs skater, when with her previous partner she was a fairly mediocre pairs skater. Regardless being given an incredible partner she had to work incredibly hard to reach the level of skating she did. Terrific achievement on her part.
  18. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    For me it was M&D by far. They had a magic about them that imo was never there with K&D. Frankly I barely remember the programs with Artur and his second partner while those with Natalia still resonate after all of these years.
  19. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan A proud P/C fan

    M&D programs, just love them, somebody is very emotional after watching them :wuzrobbed:drama:
    Dr.Siouxs and (deleted member) like this.
  20. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Definitely with Natalia for me.
    She had something very special. Something strong and fragile.
    Dr.Siouxs and (deleted member) like this.
  21. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

  22. KimGOAT

    KimGOAT Active Member


    This is terrible to hear. Do you think that is why she quit early. She was sick of being belittled and picked on by those two bullies.
  23. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Natalia and Artur had some problems, but I have no knowledge of Moskvina belittling her. Artur had to be concerned about any weight gain by Natalia. She was not as tiny as many other pairs skaters and with the weight gain the lifts became more difficult for him. He was not diplomatic about it though and he did say things in public, which was not nice. However, there are two sides to any relationship and Artur and Tamara were not the bullies you are making them out to be. In preparation for the 94 Olympics Natalia did lose some weight and it helped their pairs skating. The good thing in all this is they did not split just because they had problems. Eventually Natalia decided not to go to a third Olympics because -from what I read- she was tired of competing and wanted to move on with her life, like having a family.
  24. FiveRinger

    FiveRinger Well-Known Member

    ^^Their story was sad. I saw a fluff piece (don't know if it is the same one as mentioned in previous post) where Natalia was in love with Artur but he got someone else pregnant and married her. It happened between Albertville and Lillehammer. I don't know if they ever had a romantic relationship or if her feelings were just never reciprocated, but that had to be horrible for her. And I remember Artur and Tamara discussing the situation and trying to decide how and when they would tell Natalia that Artur was getting married and having a baby. If she was "moody" this might have explained it.
  25. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

    According to Artur he waited until they won the gold medal to tell her. He told her on the bus back to the Olympic village. Even if Natalia was not Gordeeva tiny Artur should not have publicly complained about Natalia's weight. Natalia is about the size of Tessa today.
  26. Domshabfan

    Domshabfan A proud P/C fan

    May be, but Tessa is an Ice dancer and Natalia is in Pairs, elements like triple twist are harder on the male partner than ice dance elements. As a result you can see smaller woman competing in pairs and slightly taller and slightly more massive woman in ice dancing.

    Nevertheless I am a huge fan M&D and still get chills when watching them.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  27. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Exactly. Pairs lifts are very demanding on the man. Any weight gain makes it harder. When the female partner is not as light as an average pairs skater, it can make a big difference. Artur had some back problems, I believe due to the lifts. Later he selected a smaller partner- Oksana Kazakova. In dance the man does not have to lift the lady over his head the way he has to in pairs.

    Part of M&D's charm was that Natalia was not as tiny as other pairs ladies, but she was so flexible and so unique in her movements and expression, and Artur had such passion and presence that it made M&D a very special pair, different from any that preceded them.
  28. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Or any that came after. They may not have been the most technically-correct pairs team, but I believe they are the most distinctive pairs team in history.
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  29. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

    I recall commentators mentioning how heavily Artus smoked as a young man and competitor, and what an effort (naturally) it was for him to stop (or taper at least) his smoking in order to get in appropriate shape for the competitive season; especially the 1994 comeback.
  30. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    So it's not like Artur really had so much over Natalia in terms of fitness as an athlete. She struggled with her weight; he struggled with smoking. Maybe those lifts would have been easier if he'd had better stamina and conditioning.

    I definitely felt Artur & Tamara were too hard on Natalia--just not very nice to her. I mean, first there was the thing of Artur concealing his marriage, then there were the public comments about her weight later on. Of course, if Natalia was really in love with Artur, that may have created a lot of difficulty in the day-to-day training. But I've always wondered if that was even true. Wasn't Natalia dating Alexei Urmanov during that time period? At any rate, everyone has moods, I just have always questioned this portrayal of Natalia as being "difficult," any more so than many creative/high-powered individuals. It could have been as simple as Artur & Tamara just got along better, and Natalia became the odd man out.