Sunday, November 20, 2016
Russian Diva Series: Part 1: Maria Butyrskaya
My sister and I were having a conversation yesterday about Russian skating divas. The top women on the scene these days--Evgenia, Elena, Elizaveta, Anna, Alina--are fierce, and beautiful! But this isn't new. How can we forget the great Russian divas of the past? The first that came to my mind is Maria Butyrskaya. She was never the most gifted skater, but what she lacked in natural talent, she made up for with sheer determination, grit, and plenty of sex appeal.
Maria captured the world title in 1999 in Helsinki, defeating reigning champion, Michelle Kwan. She never reached those same heights again, but went on to become an entertaining show skater. There is much love for Maria in my book--I truly admire the determination and perseverance that she showed throughout her competitive career.
Maria finished her career with six Russian National titles, three World medals (including her 1999 gold), three Grand Prix final medals, and three European Championship titles.
For some reason, I cannot find her 1999 Worlds win on You Tube, so instead I will post her 1999 European Championships win. This event led up to the Worlds in Helsinki.
Here's a clip of Maria's pure elation at the end of her World Championship win: