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Athlete Oksana Baiul pictures and photo gallery.
Birth name: Oksana Sergeyevna Baiul.
Born: November 16, 1977 Dniepropetrovsk, Ukraine, Soviet Union.
Nickname:
-Marusia.
-The Swan of Odessa.
-Ksusha.
Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m).
Oksana Baiul is a professional figure skater and Olympic gold medalist.
Oksana Baiul was only 13 when her mother, Marina, died. Baiul won the 1993 World Figure Skating Championship in her first senior competitive season at the age of 15. She then won the gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, defeating Nancy Kerrigan from the US. Baiul nearly missed competing in the free skate altogether, having been injured after a collision with Tanja Szewczenko of Germany during a warm-up session following the ladies' short program. She received two Olympic-approved pain-killing injections in her lower back which enabled her to perform and complete her free skate.

Medal record:
-Figure skating:
Gold 1994 Lillehammer Ladies' singles

After living with friends and sleeping on a cot at her hometown ice rink, she was eventually taken in by the top-ranked figure-skating coach in Odessa, Galina Zmievskaya, with whom Baiul subsequently lived while training. Zmievskaya's pupil and son-in-law, Olympic figure-skating champion Victor Petrenko, helped cover Baiul's expenses.

Baiul won the 1993 World Figure Skating Championship in her first senior competitive season at the age of 15. She then won the gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, defeating Nancy Kerrigan from the US. Baiul nearly missed competing in the free skate altogether, having been injured after a collision with Tanja Szewczenko of Germany during a warm-up session following the ladies' short program. She received two Olympic-approved pain-killing injections of anesthetics, in her lower back and shoulder, which enabled her to perform and complete her free skate.

Baiul turned professional after the 1994 Winter Olympics, even though she was only 16 years old at the time and had only competed in four major international events (winning the two highest ranked World Figure Skating and the Olympics -- and finishing second in the European competition in 1993 and 1994). Following her win at the 1994 Winter Olympics, some skating commentators and critics praised Baiul's balletic style and performance ability. Following the Olympics, however, Baiul was plagued by two physical ailments that affected her skating ability. The first was an injury requiring arthroscopic knee surgery in the summer of 1994, after which she was advised by her doctor to not return to the ice for two months. Due to the million-dollar contract signed by her coach/manager/surrogate mother, Zmievskaya, Baiul ignored doctor's wishes (at Zmievskaya's behest) and returned to the ice in two weeks; she was competing again in six. This move, along with changes in her maturing body, drastically hindered her jumping ability.

In response to her increasing professional and personal problems, Baiul turned to alcohol. In 1997, she was arrested after intoxication caused her to crash her car. She eventually entered a rehab program. Since then, Baiul has continued to skate professionally from time to time, including an engagement with the touring show "Broadway on Ice".

Baiul lived in Richmond, Virginia for a while before moving to her current residence in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. She recently amicably ended an engagement with long-time boyfriend, Gene Sunik. She has her own line of clothing and jewelry. In November 2005, she appeared on the Bravo program Celebrity Poker Showdown. She was also part of the celebrity panel of judges (along with Steve Garvey and Jonny Moseley) on the American Broadcasting Company show Master of Champions that aired briefly in 2006.

Although she was raised as a Russian Orthodox Christian, Baiul is of partial Jewish descent, her maternal grandmother being Jewish. In part for this reason, she supports the Tikva Children's Home Charity, which offers help to the Jewish children of Odessa, Ukraine. In addition, Baiul supports and is a member of the International Museum of Women, a world-class cultural and educational institution the mission of which is to celebrate the lives of women around the world.

In December 2006 Oksana was warmly welcomed in Moscow, where she skated at the Red Square ice rink alongside famous champions from Russia, China, France, and other countries.

In February 2007, Oksana collaborated with renowned ballet dancer Saule Rachmedova to bring together New York Ice Theater and couture fashion for the debut of innovative fashion designer Levi Okunov's Winter Collection. The following month, she appeared on MTV's TRL. She was there to promote the new ice skating film Blades of Glory starring Will Ferrell.

Baiul has a role in the skating stage musical Cold as Ice, the story of six skaters from Canada, Russia and the United States preparing for their national championships and the Olympics while dealing with demanding coaches, stage mothers and other trials. It is scheduled to open in December, 2008 in Brighton Beach, NY before going on tour and opening on Broadway in 2009.
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