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1999 Worlds: Maria Butyrskaya, Michelle Kwan, and Julia Soldatova

Updated on February 21, 2015

Maria Butyrskaya in 1999

In this shocking development, Maria Butyrskaya beat Michelle Kwan.

Despite Dick's compliment on her skating, it's precisely Sarah Hughes' moment. Accurately speaking it was not as good a skating as Dick praised.

On the other hand, it was well controlled and directed, and her best performance, to be sure. Butyrskaya definitely improved from previous season. Her skating become more refined and accentuated in line and move.

But her technical side appeared still rough.

Her jumps are -1,-2,0,-1,-1,-1,-2, and -1. Her average PCS is 7.25.

The link may not work. You can watch it at here.

Maria Butyrskaya in 1999

Butyrskaya's skating is quite on borderline of 7.0.

Her good speed and relatively definite line qualifies her for 7.0 while her technical level may not.

As Dick mentioned here, her landing technique is greatly flawed. Even at her best, her jumps are always stiff and jerky.

Not that she couldn't manage momentum or any flow, the specific landing technique she has or as Dick described as " stiff knees" causes disruption in motion, which is not a small flaw.

Her jumps are -3, 0 and -3.

But is her skating superior to today's Russian skaters? Definitely. Much superior to theirs.

Michelle Kwan in 1999

Her body language signals nothing specially wrong.

But Kwan was uncharacteristically flatfooted here. Her failure on the first jump and singling a double axel cost her much. But in the COP they may not have held her back much.

More critically though, if Kwan's skating was tardy, Kwan's weak momentum aggravated to expose her physiological handicap more.

Her jumps are -3,0,0,0 single,-1,0 and 0. Her PCS is 8.0 in average.

So in this case, back then Butyrskaya's technical flaws were ignored while her improved speed, line and direction were more rewarded.

Michelle Kwan in 1999

Her jumps are -3,-3 and 0.

It's shocking even now to see Kwan falling twice. In fact, her move was good at first and speed seemed adequate.

But Kwan couldn't control the landing.

So the question is, in this short program where jumps appears a big portion of the entire program, how much is her supposed PCS?

I think in this case it is reasonable to place her PCS around 7.5 in average.

Julia Soldstova in 1999

Her Jumps are 0,-1,-3,-1,-1,-1,0 and -1.

Except one, she managed well all her jumps, but her jumping technique needs correction and adjustment.

Her level of skating is barely senior, strictly speaking. Although she doesn't show any fractured moves, her skating was premature and revealed comprehensive deficiency in accuracy and polishing.

Her average PCS is 7.0, which is a bit generous, I think.


Julia Soldstova in 1999

Actually I like Soldatova.

She has a good speed and ability to land jumps. Despite the quality appears desired, her way of skating is commendable, because her problem stems from lack of training not from a wrong way of training.

That is, Soldatova's jumping technique is in nature correctable.

Although Soldatova's moves and jumps are too rough and her body appears too stiff, her skating approach is what today's Russian skaters need to learn.

Her jumps are -1,-1 and 0 with 7.25 of her average PCS.

Who do you think is the winner of the 1999 Worlds?

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