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Thread: Oksana Baiul- what is her standing in the sport and how is she today?

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    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!

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    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.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    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.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    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.

    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.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post

    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.
    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.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    I do have to say that Kerrigan's side-hops with her arms down at her side were kinda laughable. But it wasn't so bad with the music. I think the program as a whole could have transitioned a little better. The breaks were a little too much and didn't choreographically make as much sense as Oksana's.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here is Oksana at fifteen. If you compare this to what todays wunderkinder can do, you can see why us old-timers never really embraced the CoP.

    2003 worlds SP

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PQBBXDId-g

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    ...nothing that I posted should be considered 'scathing'...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.

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    She was just stunning.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here is the latest Oksana news as of last month. She is suing her agency, William Morris, for 170 million dollars.

    http://www.thewrap.com/gold-medalist...espread-theft/

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    There's no way that in the real world a publicity agency could do 170 million dollars' worth of damage to a figure skater, is there? Who is advising her?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    There's no way that in the real world a publicity agency could do 170 million dollars' worth of damage to a figure skater, is there? Who is advising her?
    Right

    Yuna Kim has made "only" about 50 millions throughout her career.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moment View Post
    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

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    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.
    Right, like saying "crybaby" and "cry me a river" is not scathing? Well who is being a "crybaby" now? Oksana suing in this very spurious-looking lawsuit trying to cash in on decades-old "fame." And though the whole approach of coming up with a narrative for athletes is very superficial, it's what the media specializes in, so we can have dueling narratives if you want -- Nancy wasn't a millionaire then, she too had a working class background, yada yada ETA: I meant to say, vs. Baiul with her parental loss and living with Petrenko and coach/family. There can be real truth to all of these things but the media has to make it sound bytes to garner sympathy/fame and they do it for all athletes. Re: Nancy, if she had ugly costumes we would bash her for that (see several recent comments re: Zawadzki) -- it's not like Nancy is the only one who ever had designer costumes.

    I thought Baiul was cheesy and melodramatic rather than subtle and moving -- but obviously different strokes. But no way is calling someone a crybaby etc. NOT being scathing. Get real.

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