Maria Viktorovna Butyrskaya () (born June 28, 1972 in Moscow) is a Russian Figure skater. In 1999, she became the oldest person to win the ladies' singles title at the World Figure Skating Championships, and also became the first Russian woman to win the World Championships. She also won Bronze medals at the 1998 and 2000 World Championships. She placed fourth at the 1998 Winter Olympics and sixth at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Butyrskaya is a six-time champion at the Russia and a three-time champion at the European Figure Skating Championships. When she won at the 2002 European Championships at the age of 29, she also became the oldest woman to ever win the European Championships.

Butyrskaya was born in Moscow in 1972. As a teen, she was replaced by the Soviet Figure Skating Federation, and then lost coach after coach while struggling to finance her skating following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Her persistence paid off when she defeated defending world champion Michelle Kwan at the 1999 World Championships. She was never able to win a second world title, however, nor an Olympic medal of any color. She ended her amateur career at the 2002 World Championships, withdrawing from the competition after skating poorly in the qualifying round.

Butyrskaya was known for her triple loop, triple toe-loop and triple lutz jumps respectively. She was also known for a combination spin that involved clasping her arms and hands behind her back while transitioning to back camel, sit and scratch spins. She often participated in choreographing her programs and in designing her costumes. She often skated better in practice sessions than in competitive events, however, as she frequently succumbed to nervous tension when competing. In particular, Butyrskaya's car was blown up by the Russian mafia in December 1999, and speculation followed that the ensuing emotional distress caused her to lose the 1999 Russian Championships.

Besides the technical elements of figure skating, Butyrskaya won adulation for her ubridled femininity, which, especially toward the end of her professional career, was often in stark contrast to competitors half her age. She herself described her skating style as "a Woman on the ice". In the mid-1990s, the New York Times described her short program (Sarah Brightman's Scene d'Amour) as "flowing, lyrical skating... ...a performance of rare elegance and beauty."

Personal Edit

In 1998, she posed for the Russian edition of Playboy magazine. In 2006, she married a hockey player, Vadim Khomitski, who currently is signed by the NHL team Dallas Stars (in October 2006 he was assigned to their farm club, Iowa Stars of the AHL, and in December re-assigned to the Russia team Khimik Moscow Oblast). He is 10 years younger than her. [1] On the morning of April 16, 2007, Butyrskaya and Khomitski welcomed their first child, a son named Vladislav (Vlad for short.) At his birth, he weighed-in at 7.7 pounds and was 20 inches long. Butyrskaya currently coaches at the Olympic Reserve Skating School in Moscow.[2]

Competitive highlightsEdit

Event/Season 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
Winter Olympics 4th 6th
World Figure Skating Championships 4th 5th 3rd 1st 3rd 4th WD
European Figure Skating Championships 5th 4th 7th 3rd 4th 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
Russia 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd
Champions/Grand Prix Final 7th 4th 3rd 2nd 3rd 4th 4th
Skate America 10th 1st
Skate Canada Int. 1st 2nd
Sparkassen Cup 2nd 1st 1st 1st
Trophee Lalique 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
NHK Trophy 5th 5th 1st 2nd 1st

External linksEdit

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