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1998 Worlds:Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, and Maria Butyrskaya

Updated on February 20, 2015

Michelle Kwan in 1998

Performances in this period of time and hereafter are pretty close to our day. So I'd like to apply the COP system to the performances.

A few things will be considered though:

In general, it is reasonable to allocate 9.0s to top skaters in the past. However, it is still hard - and unfair - to decide a PCS for a skater in the past based on the current COP, because the PCS is also affected by competitors.

Having that in mind, nevertheless, I am going to apply PCS based on assumption that skaters compete with the current pool of competitors as of now. Unless it is too damaging, downgrade or wrong edge will be ignored.

I am not going to produce the total scores; I'd rather leave it to your judgment, even though I may let you know the desirable results.

In this free program, Kwan's jumps are -1,-1,-1,-3,0,-1,-1 and 0 with 8.5 of her average PCS.

Michelle Kwan in 1998

In her short program, Kwan shows good speed and adequate spin position.

Yes, her spiral is something we all miss.

Kwan's jumps are 0,-2 and +1. I agree with Dick on the "low" quality on the last jump, but still it has a good flow. Accurately speaking, that last jump may be more fitting to 0, but still that's relatively good.

Her average PCS is also 8.5.

Irina Slutskaya in 1998

Haha, Peggy's verdict seems cold, "not her best performance."

Slutskaya's jumps are 0,-2,-3,0,-1,0(double),0, and -3. Slutskaya double footed at the third jump. The first jump was good however.

You may amusingly notice that criticism flung around on Slutskaya by the two famous commentators. Though, to some, they may sound putting down Slutskaya to defend Kwan, both Dick and Peggy precisely diagnosed Slutskaya's weakness.

Her poor spiral, roughness, immaturity, and lack of style as Peggy pinches.

Slutskaya's PCS is 8.0.

Irina Slutskaya in 1998

Her jumps are-3, -1 and 0 with 8.0 her average PCS.

Interestingly the commentators missed the younger Slutskaya, rightfully so.

But I don't agree to the marks given for Slutskaya's technical scores. Dick agrees to the marks, but I don't.

That's way too low for Slutskaya. That may indicate how fall played a critical role in the past. But in that marks Slutskaya's merits are grossly ignored.

Given that Slutskaya's general skating was in low quality, her deficiency is largely comparatively based on Kwan's, not others.

Maria Butyrskaya in 1998

Well, well, well.

Honestly, Butyrskaya's skating is terrible. This can't be on the podium.

I can't be sure if I can give her 7.0 PCS average.

Her jumps are -2,-3,-2,-2,-3,-2 and -2. Butyrskaya too has a similar habit as Elena Radionova does in air-position.

Against my better judgement, I will give her 7.0 PCS average.

Her technical marks are totally wrong. I would say that's bullshit. Her correct marks are about 5.2/5.3 for T/P.

Maria Butyrskaya in 1998

Butyrskaya is a skater a bit equal with Sarah Hughes in level to be fair.

As shown above in free program, Butyrskaya's skating level is far from top group in her time.

It's not her jump technique that ruined her performances, but her skating level. Her skating wasn't there yet.

Of course, as you already notice, she never showed fractured moves like today's Russian skaters despite all her shortcomings.

Her jumps are void, -2 and -3. Her PCS is here 6.75 in average. Her presentation marks at that time simply failed to reflect what she skated.

Who do you think is the winner of the 1998 Worlds?

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