I found my way onto the figure skating website/message board world at a very young age, and I can still remember the amazement of most people over Irina Slutskaya during the 1999 Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic-- a team competition that featured top skaters from the USA and Russia. Many were looking forward to the final head-to-head match-up of Michelle Kwan vs. then-World Champion Maria Butyrskaya, but that turned out to be a snooze as Butyrskaya crashed hard on her very first jump.
On the other hand, I don't think much was expected out of Slutskaya, as she had gone from the 1998 World silver medalist to not even making the World team in 1999. She skated to a Saint-Preux piece entitled Adagio pour Piano and showed, quite possibly for the first time, that she really could listen to the music and present herself as an artist. Irina became the talk of the event, and I have to say that this is probably my favorite program that she has done. Enjoy!
By the way, this is the first of a million times during the season that Dick Button would bring up the cheek pinching story.