Oksana Baiul- what is her standing in the sport and how is she today?
So I've been educating my new husband and stepdaughter about the history of figure skating in preparation for the Sochi Olympics and tonight we watched Oksana's short and long in Lillehammer (last night was a little Tonya and Nancy lesson). They were both really moved by Oksana as an artist and a person- the backstory, the lyricism and grace of her movements, her gutsiness. I explained to them that some feel her win was controversial given the two-footing and lack of real combinations (any combo involving a triple when Nancy did a triple-triple and a triple-double). They conceded that perhaps Nancy was stronger, but they were enchanted by Oksana. I too was struck by her soulfulness and dancing ability on watching everything again. What do you all think of Oksana as a skater and what is her relative standing in the sport- is she a legend? flash in the pan? something in between?
Then they asked me what happened to her and I couldn't remember all the details but told them she'd had too much success too soon, lost her jumps, developed a drinking problem. Did she ever get her life on track, my little stepdaughter wanted to know. and I realized I am not sure how the whole story played out! Can anyone fill me in?
Thanks in Advance!
Oksana had drinking problems and the problems of success and no one to love her. She lost her mom, her dad left her family and her grand parents died. She came out of no where and won the 1993 world championships. A year later she grew a bit and money was tight. viktor peterenko and his motehr inlaw helped pay her way and coach her. While Nancy and tonya headlined the event Oksana went on and did her job. Sadly in the rink practice for her freeskate the German Skater Tonya Sawchenko who rotates int he wopposit direction was practicing and didn't see Baiul and her blade hit the back of Baiul and then the thingh cutting Oksana. She was in pain and stiff and took Olympic acceptable medication. Despite the pain in her back she went ont to skate the free skate including throwing in at the ver last second a double axel double toe to beat Nancy Kerrigan in her $13000 Vera Wang (individually heat set) AFter struggling for years she regained her triple jumps including the triple lutz. She now skates for the joy.
Sometimes bad skating happens to good people...
Here is my perspective on Oksana Baiul. I used to dance, and she was in a totally different world. Simply an amazing body, the agility, flexibility, and she could feel the nuance in the music, so she was very much musical. As for Lillehamer, sure I'd give her 5.5/5.9. But I'd have given Nancy a 5.9/5.5 with her cheesy Neil Diamond choreo, those Scotvold bunny-hops and jazzercise moves. EEEK! As for her alcoholism, it seems easy to judge, except that given her history, her family history (her father abandoned the family due to alcoholism) I am just so glad she's gotten herself back together. This new husband might just might be a user, but she is no longer in the dumps so to speak of alcoholism. And I raise my hat to her and wish her every possible good thing will come her way. She is a survivor and I respect that.
I have to repeat that she was a phenomenon. I know the medals should be on the competition ice, but Oksana was heads and shoulders above everyone in terms of star quality, ability, charisma, and just inborn talent. You truly had to see her in person to have this register. In practice all of her jumps were huge and completed. Every single one. The judges saw this LIVE. It was unmistakable, her talent and ability. Youtubers don't get it. She was uhMAYzing!! Had I been asked to dance with her, I'd have said "HELL to the no. She's too good!" Stuffy and snotty Nancy didn't have a chance no matter what she landed. Sure, Nancy could wear a fifteen thousand dollar Vera Wang as if that made her more 'artistic' , but I think the judges looked at the SKATER and not the packaging, which the Scotvolds were known for. The marks were strange, I laugh that Oksana got higher technical than Nancy...... But really OB 5.5/5.9 and NK 5.9/5.5. Oksana still wins.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
Baiul's performance was really special. The amount of full-body movement she displayed hasn't been displayed in singles skating since then. Skating needs more of this.
That said...I do think Kerrigan should have won. It was a good program, she performed it well, and she miraculously did better on the jumps than anyone else at that competition. I'd give her 5.7/5.8 in comparison to 5.5/5.9 for Oksana.
ITA her SP was the most special and moving sp in many a year. She was a gem then success blew her mind up. Her LP was filled with flaws. Nancy was whacked then jobbed. Thank goodness her priority was children. She lost that bitterness much to her credit. I loved her realness and her true irish ice princess look was perfect.
Originally Posted by Blades of Passion
The q was re oxana-why smash Kerrigan ???? ref. to Liam's scathing post. Nancy was/is an amazing lifer who has helped many. Good woman.
Sometimes bad skating happens to good people...
Let's clear this one up real quickly. I like Kerrigan, and nothing that I posted should be considered 'scathing'. I really thought she should have brought back Beauty and the Beast which was her one fully choreographed and best number, except Nancy couldn't combine technical and choreo. (Why did we always seem to find Nancy skating to Nancy's coach's brother in law's music???? Creepy.) As much as I don't like Oksana's poodle on Broadway, I highly preferred it to the fifteen thousand dollar Vera Wang and Jane Fonda moves from Nancy. As my cubby bear crush would admit, I love Carol Heiss, she is the BOMB! And even Carol Heiss says "The right person won". That was the feeling. Nancy was lucky to get even silver. I could see her off the podium. A big 25 y/o millionaire crybaby. Cry me a river, Nancy. Oh wait, you did sing on national tv and made yet another fool of yourself. Cry me a river, but quietly.
Originally Posted by skateluvr
Originally Posted by Olympia
Yuna Kim has made "only" about 50 millions throughout her career.
Well that's comparing 5 years of earnings versus almost 20 for Baiul. Still $170 million sounds like a lot lol
Originally Posted by Moment
As for Oksana, not only was she a great dancer she was an awesome skater. I loved how she rode an inside edge into her 2A, and she had very deep edges to her skating overall.