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Oksana Baiul  

Retired Ukrainian Figure Skater

Oksana Baiul was born on November 16, 1977 in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukrane. Her mother’s name is Marina, and her father’s name is Sergei. Oksana lived in the small 3-room apartment where her mother and grandmother raised her. Her father disappeared from her life when she was only two years old. Oksana started skating at the age of four. She won her first competition when she was seven years old. Her mother hoped that Oksana would become a ballerina some day and she became… the ballerina on ice.

The life of sweet little girl was not so sweet. When Oksana was ten years old, her grandfather died, very unexpectedly. One year later her grandmother became very sick and died. Her life changed because a big part of her family was missing.

Oksana loved skating and dreamed to be the best. She started working very hard on her skating. Later on her mother got married. It seemed like everything started falling into the right place but in August of 1991, Oksana’s mother died from cancer. Oksana was left alone with no place to stay and feel like at home. Oksana’s coach offered her to say with his family. After a while her coach left for Canada. Again Oksana felt alone.

Time went on, Oksana was offered to train with the famous Ukranian coach Galina Zmievskaya and Oksana had to move to Odessa. She started living with the Galina’s family and continued to train very hard. Hard training finally started paying off. After a while Oksana became Ukrainian National Champion. Oksana was very happy. After winning gold at the National she went to European Championships and won silver. Every one who watched her loved the way she performed. Oksana was getting better with her every performance. One month later she went to 1993 World Championships and won gold medal. Every one fell in love with ‘Princess on Ice’.

In 1994 Oksana went to European Championships and won silver medal again. The most important time was coming up. It was the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. She began preparing herself for the most important competition in her life. Oksana had chosen a great piece of music, Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky, for the short program.

The time came for Olympic Games. Oksana skated the short program perfectly, but she was in the second place. It was a good spot... She had to get better scores from judges on the long program to win but she could not afford a single mistake.

Everything seemed like it was going to be fine, but problems started to pop up. When Oksana was practicing for her final performance, Tanya Szewchenko from Germany and Oksana crashed into each other. Oksana had a deep cut in her leg and back pain. With the injury she had it was impossible to skate for the next few days. Is this the end of the dream…?

No...not for Oksana...Nothing could come between Oksana Baiul and the chance of winning the gold medal. When the time came to get ready to skate again, Oksana was given an Olympic-approved shot for pain. She skated her long program flawlessly. It was the best performance of that day. Oksana became an Olympic Champion at the age of 16. Her dream came true. She was very happy.

After Olympics Oksana moved to the United States. In October of 1994 she turned professional. She skates with other Olympic Champions in many tours around the United States and competes in many different competitions. Oksana has written two books, ‘Oksana, My Own Story’ and ‘Secrets of Skating’, appeared in many magazines and TV Shows.

Oksana Baiul is world's most talented figure skater.

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OKSANA BAIUL - YouTube
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