Originally posted on 6-19-08 before wipeout

here's the cached link where you can access all of the links that used to be active:


Week 4's off-season flashback is dedicated to the Russian pairs skating team of Natalia Mishkutenok & Artur Dmitriev (referred to M&D hereafter).

M&D skated together between 1987 and 1994, and are the 1992 Olympic Champions, 1994 Olympic silver medalists, and European & World Champions.

Click here for Natalia's biography on wikipedia
Click here for Artur's biography on wikipedia

To many, M&D were known for their interesting, and sometimes avant garde programs. They were also known for a variety of intricate moves and spins, especially their pairs "Natalia's" spin, the Biellmann position death spiral, and a number of extremely flexible manuevers (on Natalia's behalf ).

Over the years, their skating evolved and matured while they trained with one of the top pairs coaches in the world, Tamara Moskvina. Tamara's vision for the team, as well as her style of coaching helped bring the team to prominence, especially in the 1991 & 1992 seasons.

It was in 1991 when M&D won their first of two World titles. At the beginning of the season, Natalia & Artur debuted their Dream of Love program, which displayed a softer, more lyrical & artistic side of the team. With their intricate choreography, innovate moves/spins, and lyrical skating qualities, they were able to skate their way to the top of the podium. As an interesting side note, Moskvina's husband did not feel that the Dream of Love program was of championship calibre, and thought it was a bad idea. Moskvina disagreed and said she knew the program would be a hit with the judges and audiences. We all know what the end result was

During the 1992 season, M&D used the same program from the 1991 season, and had much success with it again. They skated their way to another European, Olympic, and World title.

After 1992, M&D weren't seen too much on the professional scene, and were basically away from competing for most of the 1993 season. In 1993, they made a decision to attempt winning another Olympic title, and subsequently began training for the 1994 Games.

In 1991 and 1992, they showed a softer and more lyrical side of their skating with Dream of Love. In the '93-'94 season, they showed a much darker and serious side, skating to Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto #2. As in previous years, Natalia & Artur displayed very intricate and innovative choreography, and the program was well-received by the judges and audience alike. They won their first event of the season, skating at Piruetten, in Hamar, Norway.

The rest of the season found M&D in 2nd place at other events, with silver medals at Nationals, Europeans, and the Olympics. They did not skate at Worlds that year.

Despite skating clean programs at the Olympics, they were still edged out by the graceful & powerful skating of Gordeeva & Grinkov (G&G). Although both teams skated very well, the results have sometimes been disputed on the basis that M&D had more difficult content in their program. However (IMO), although G&G had *slighly* less difficulty, their programs had more speed as well as excellent carriage and flow between all elements. Everything seemed so effortless in their Moonlight Sonata LP.

*I'll leave the rest of the debate up for discussion after this post*

M&D broke off their partnership sometime after the 1994 season. While Natalia wanted to turn professional, Artur expressed interest in still skating in ISU sanctioned events. Artur eventually partnered up with Oksana Kazakova, and ended up winning another Olympic title in 1998.

Natalia ended up marrying (twice), and eventually having a child in 2006. She is currently coaching skater Angela Maxwell, among others.

Here are some of M&D's programs from YouTube:
1989 Skate America LP
1990 Worlds SP
1990 Worlds LP
1990 Worlds EX
1991 Worlds LP
1991 Worlds SP
1992 Olympics SP
1992 Worlds LP *my divshare download with video page
1993 Piruetten LP *I love these costumes...actually much more than the ones they used at the Olympics. This is another of my divshare files.
1994 Euros EX
1994 Olympics SP
1994 Olympics LP

Sorry there isn't much online in terms of videos. There used to be much more on YouTube, but the vids were taken down. I'll try to upload some to my file sharing account if anyone wants some.

Enjoy this week's flashback! Lets start talking about M&D.