EMPRESS OF ICE; 1994 Olympic GOLD Medalist & 1993 World Champion, Ladies Figure Skating; Film & TV Actress, Designer, Author, Spokesperson, Philanthropist!
When Oksana Baiul was three years old, she received her first pair of ice skates from her Grandfather. By just seven years old, she already won her first competition and continued to sweep gold at numerous junior competitions and after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 more competitions such as Ukrainian Nationals twice. The Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation immediately took notice of her unique, natural balletic artistry on the ice after her first win. Two figure skating coaches that contributed a significant role in cultivating and growing her talent and instincts on the ice were Stanislav Koretek (from 1983-1992) and more importantly Valentin Nikolayev (1992-1994; 1998-present) who coached her during the 1993 & 1994 European Championships, GOLD at the 1993 US Skating Skate America, GOLD at the 1993 World Championship and GOLD at the 1994 Olympics.
In 1994, at barely 16 years old, the world watched literally (Oksana Baiul holds the record for most watched Olympic performance in history) as Oksana captivated our hearts & won the Olympic Gold Medal, proving that she is the Best in the World! Contrary to the false tales spun by a former coach and others to the media claiming to have financially supported Oksana prior to 1994, in fact Oksana was by 1993 already unknowingly a financially secure teenager with her own apartment, having won GOLD at the 1993 World Championship, headlined the ISU European Tour and being contracted by Tom Collins to co-headline his 1993 Tour of World Figure Skating Champions sold out 43 US cities tour. After winning the Olympics in 1994, Oksana was brought to the United States to train and tour. Oksana was signed to William Morris Talent Agency, turned professional, toured nonstop for 8 years as Headliner of AEG’s Champions On Ice Tour in the United States, toured the UK as Headliner of the Nutcracker On Ice Tour, toured as a Guest Star Headliner in 2003-2004 Smucker’s Stars On Ice TIME Tour and has since continued to primarily tour overseas. Barbara Walter’s named Oksana Baiul “One of the 10 Most Fascinating Personalities of 1994″. Oksana Baiul is the only figure skater ever to receive the prestigious Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Inspirational Icon Award. Oksana has also been awarded the great honor of the Ukrainian Chevaliers of the Order of Merit. Oksana Baiul has also been featured on a Ukrposhta (Ukrainian Postal Service) national treasures collectable postage stamp. Oksana Baiul remains to date the ONLY Ukrainian Ladies Figure Skating Olympic Gold Medal Champion!
Born in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, USSR she is an only child of parents Sergei and Marina Baiul who divorced when she was two. Raised Ukrainian Orthodox, her mother was Jewish, the Soviet system shunned Jewish people hence many acknowledged Ukrainian Christian Orthodox, however Oksana is proud and honors both her Jewish and Christian roots by continuing to openly embrace both. Her mother and her maternal grandparents raised Oksana. When Oksana was 10, her grandparents died. Tragically, three years later at 13, her mother died of ovarian cancer. As an only child, Oksana inherited the family apartment, however Oksana primarily lived in government supplied dorms due to her rigorous figure skating training regiments and her basic financial needs were provided by the government as well, allowing her to give all of her time and focus to her full-time training.
Prior to and since her victory in Lillehammer, Oksana headlined figure skating tours and exhibitions non-stop from 1993 to present in the United States, Ukraine, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, France, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia and many more.
Oksana’s life story was depicted in the (EMMY-Nominated) SONAR/RHI/Hallmark/CBS produced BioPic Movie, “A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story”. Oksana has published two Best Selling books, “Secrets of Skating/Oksana Baiul” & ”Oksana, My Own Story”. Oksana has been profiled in several televised biographical specials on networks such as CBS, FOX, ABC, ESPN, NBC, Lifetime, A&E, BBC, NTV and numerous other networks. In 1996, Oksana also launched “OKSANA: Jewels On Ice” and “Oksana: Ice Crystals” her jewelry collections, which sold-out on QVC and in turn were made available with major US luxury department stores. Oksana Baiul has headlined more than 900 live performances touring the globe, a part of over 150 headlining television and as a successful Movie and TV star with lead roles in performances (Nutcracker on Ice [NBC/OnIce], Wizard of Oz on Ice [CBS/FeldEnt/RinglingBros/Turner], CBS Sports Olympic Winterfest, Goodwill Games) and more than 300 television appearances.
In 2002, Oksana also launched her clothing line, the Oksana Baiul Collection, the most successful independently owned Figure Skating Apparel line, created and designed by Oksana herself. In 2003, Oksana returned to her hometown of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine and her heartfelt story was featured on ABC’s 20/20 and featured in People Magazine and dozens of international media. During 2005 to 2009 Oksana also headlined a Moscow Red Square TV special, starred in an off Broadway theatrical show “Cold As Ice” earning her performance critical acclaim, while dedicating the majority of her time to philanthropic endeavors benefiting children. Oksana, the only figure skater to become a globally known household name and cross over to be considered a true entertainer, EMPRESS OF ICE and Film/TV Star, has graced the covers of over 50 media publications globally and endorsed products such as ICON Fitness’ HealthRider and Lifeway’s KEFIR. Oksana’s career as a Television actress has continued, making guest appearances on television series’ (Arli$$, Strong Medicine), supporting roles in movies (Cutting Edge II), and stared as lead judge on ABC’s prime-time reality show “Master of Champions”.
OKSANA BAIUL: EMPRESS Of ICE, nicknamed the Queen of Ice and the Swan of Odessa, who partnered with Entertainment Producer, Investor and Philanthropist Carlo J. Farina, can be found on the ice training for her upcoming projects on the ice, stage, film and television, writing her highly-anticipated autobiography, lending her celebrated name and attendance to international philanthropic fundraising (primarily focused on the Performing Arts, Aide to orphaned and / or impoverished Ukrainian Jewish children, medically fragile as well as small dog welfare), developing a global headlining production and expanding her career as a co-Producer (of shows/tours in addition to Television specials), while also designing the OKSANA BAIUL Collection encompassing figure skating apparel, ready to wear, accessories and her upcoming new jewelry line!