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Thread: Oksana on Bio

  1. #1
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Oksana on Bio

    The Bio channel just had two shows this morning, one on Michelle and Tara (nothing new) and one on Oksana Baiul. Did anyone else see it?

    Maybe it was a repeat, but I thought the Oksana segment was fascinating. I hadn't realized how totally adrift she was emotionally after her Olympic victory.

    Mathman

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    I am glad Oksana is doing much better.

    Why she and Galina went separate ways is still a mystery to me.

    She set the gold standard for Swan programs.

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    Minusaramadad from Arctaroon John King's Avatar
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    Oksana on Bio

    It's a repeat.Odd that this 25 year old has had 4 hour long biography/portraits of her life already!

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    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    I really wish I had cable. I would love to see the story about Oksana. I hope she comes to my city for SOI this year and I am glad that things have turned around for her and her life. :D

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    I've seen the bios you're talking about Mathman and also in an extensive first-person article that I believe was in "International Figure Skating," Oksana went into a lot of things that were happening both before and after the Olympics that make her alcoholism and other problems make a lot more sense.

    One thing that struck me was how the media so grossly embellished the "poverty-stricken orphan without a home" story. True, Oksana's mother and grandmother were dead and her father had taken off when she was very young, but she had a stepfather plus the Russian FS federation were making sure she got taken care of. This is not to diminish the terrible anguish she must have gone through losing first her grandmother and then her mother at ages 12 and 13, but the media made it sound as if after her mother died, Oksana was on the street. Oksana didn't speak English at the time, so her story was being translated either by Viktor Petrenko or somebody else, so you've got a good chance for errors right there. Plus I'm sure the journalists covering it knew what would sell--and sell big.

    Things that have struck me in Oksana's recent accounts of what happened:
    --That she was dieting a lot prior to and during the Olympics, basically eating only chicken and salad. She was 16 and on the cusp of a major growth spurt (I believe she grew five inches in about nine months following the '94 Olympics). When I look at photos of her in '94, she has the classic body of a skater or any athlete who mainly uses his/her lower body who is not getting enough food: extremely thin arms and chest, thin waist, and muscular thighs and lower legs. Dieting so severely under such conditions of extreme physical, mental, and psychological demand is murder on an adolescent's body and psyche. Of course I know skaters need to be thin, starvation diets can be dangerous. I think Oksana looks great now, but with her boyfriend Gene it seems she is finally on good balance of exercise and high quality nutrition.
    --That before Oksana split from her, Galina made money off everything Oksana did. From the media--and the way Oksana and Galina talked to the media--the whole mother-daughter "family" thing was the only thing they talked about. Oksana's break with Galina made a lot more sense once Galina's financial interest in Oksana was revealed. BTW, I'm not dissing Galina since I've never heard her side of it. I'm just saying it's hard for someone to be a mother figure when the money you make skating is a big source of income. Actually, I feel bad for them both, Oksana and Galina. No doubt they had great dreams and things went so terribly wrong after just a short time of success.
    --That Oksana's father is still alive and that she had made a great effort to find him in recent years. I believe she saw him once at her mother's funeral but they didn't talk, though I'm not sure about that. [Edited to add: Just saw Paula's post on article on OB that she did see him then]. Indeed he was alcoholic, which gives Oksana at least a genetic predilection towards alcoholism. Like all substance addicts, I think this is something she will have to battle her whole life--easier when things are going well, hell when they are not. [Edited to add: In the article Paula cites, Oksana just recently did meet and talk with her father. I wish them the best and I'm glad Oksana's in a place where she feels strong enough to meet with him. So many people can never forgive in that kind of situation, but it can be very healing.]
    --How much the knee injury she sustained shortly after the Olympics and that was reported as "minor" gives her problems to this day, in part because she went back on the ice only days after arthroscopic knee surgery because she had a performance commitment. I think it's almost impossible for a 16-year-old to say "No" when their coach and so many other people are depending on the money she makes from skating, and also because most young people, especially successful athletes, feel indestructible. Also, when an adolescent is making the money, and a lot of it, who are they going to listen to when they have no parent to tell them, "Cut out the partying and cut out the booze!" I think Oksana is an unfortunate example of how badly these young skaters need a family whose primary interest is them, not their skating. Dick Button has emphasized this many times, particularly with reference to Michelle. Michelle's family may have made a problematic choice now and then, but IMO there was never a particle of doubt that Michelle the daughter, sister, person came first; not Michelle the skater. I think a lot of who Michelle is today and has been all along is a great testament to the love and devotion of her family. In Oksana's case, look at the difference it made when she met and became involved with Gene Sunik and his family, who didn't even know her as a skater early on and at least seem to love her as Oksana the person. I hope this continues for her and if it doesn't that Oksana gains enough strong feelings of self-worth that she can continue in this vein.
    Rgirl
    Last edited by Rgirl; 09-21-2003 at 03:50 AM.

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    Minusaramadad from Arctaroon John King's Avatar
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    Oksana on Bio

    Originally posted by KwanFan1212
    I really wish I had cable. I would love to see the story about Oksana.
    I have all 4 bios,E! True Hollywood Story,Intimate Portrait,FoxSports Beyond The Glory,and A&E Biography.PM me and I'll see about making a copy for you.

  7. #7
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Yeah I sas this Bio about a year ago. It was very interesting. Though, in regards with her attitude. Picked up on that almost right away. Because, during many of the skating shows that went on after the olympics. The Commentators(sp) were dropping hints left & right. & Scott hamilton came right out one day & said that during one of the shows he was commenting on that she did not show up for. That wanted to see the old oksana back & that her head was getting pretty big for her( he said it nicer than that though ) They also did mention that she needed REAL guidence from autority figure. Not a Coach. She did pretty much what she wanted & answered to no one. When she got arrested, she was being brought into the jail in handcuffs & what was she doing. Smiliing & again not taking it seriously. She went on oprah to try to say her Professional career.Sponors were dropping her left & right. & Still while on oprah she still wouldn't accept her responsbility.

    I do also agree with people here when they say that the media built her up so much with the Cry me a river story. It made for good TV. But again, it did nothing for her. But, turn her into a Major DIVA. Even the skaters couldn't stand her & wanted her goine. No one wanted to work with her any longer.

    It does just proves that These young Athletes do need Parental Guidence. Coaches are not enough, Even if You don't have parents You need someone there Who has guardianship of the Minor. Someone who they would listen & respect.

    I am happy that she has her life together now. She needed a big fall in order to see the light. She almost killing herself in that Car Accident wasn't enough for her. But, She is doing better now.

    I have always said that Her getting that Gold Medal was the wost thing for her. Nancy been given the Silver medal was the Real WInner there. She had her little problem after the games because of a few statements. But, got on with her life. Turned Professional, Got Married, had a baby & moved on with her life. She would no longer dwell in the Diva Drama surrounding the Sport. The Nancy/ Toyna thing was over & she had enough. That is why I have always said that Nancy was the Real WINNER here.

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    Nancy was the winner from the beginning. She did not need the gold medal to be successful like Oksana. Her mugshot pic looks like Alexei's.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    From what I saw on the various bios, she did not have any parental guidance in her life but she did have excellent nurturing. They gave her a home and the will to win in skating, and she did. What happened afterwards? I don't think the nurturers were involved in Oksana's post Oly life.

    Joe

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    Originally Posted by Joesitz:
    I don't think the nurturers were involved in Oksana's post Oly life.
    ITA, Joe and I think your analysis of the difference between parental guidance and nurturers, and the necessity of both for athletes, is spot on. Ideally we all need both. But especially for someone in Oksana's position, whose father took off when she was two or so and whose grandmother and mother died when Oksana was at those especially confusing ages of 12 and 13, respectively, and who then won the OGM at 16 and gained sudden fame, I think that if she'd had both nurturers and parental guidance, it might have made a crucial difference. Fame, from what I've seen, does not attract nurturers but rather the opposite. Fame doesn't attract people who are interested in you, but only in your fame.

    As for who was a winner and who was a loser in life after the '94 Olympics, for me it's more complex than that. I think only those who have been through it can really know what it is to live something Henry Miller said, "Fame is an illusive thing -- here today, gone tomorrow. The fickle, shallow mob raises its heroes to the pinnacle of approval today and hurls them into oblivion tomorrow at the slightest whim; cheers today, hisses tomorrow; utter forgetfulness in a few months."

    Or as Vladimir Nabokov quipped, "It'is a short walk from the hallelujah to the hoot."
    Rgirl
    Last edited by Rgirl; 09-24-2003 at 04:05 AM.

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