This profile thread takes a look back at Oksana Baiul's all too short competitive career (background info: Wikipedia, Oksana Baiul - Then & Now, Official Website, Oksana Baiul - Ice Princess, Interview).
Baiul was born in Dnepropetrovsk (then part of the USSR) on the 16th November 1977. Her parents separated when she was just two years old. Her grandfather provided her with her first pair of skates for her 4th birthday, and inspired by her childhood idol, Jill Trenary, within three years, she was skating in local competitions.
1989/90 & 1990/91
In 1990, Baiul finished 12th in the Soviet championships, and finished 10th in the same championships the following year.
In 1991, Baiul competed in the Nations Cup, finishing fourth in a competition won by Nancy Kerrigan. At the age of thirteen, however, Baiul's mother, Marina, died of ovarian cancer, and her grandmother died shortly afterwards. Baiul then lived with her coach, Stanislav Koretek, and his family until Koretek emigrated to Canada in 1992. Alone, Baiul was left with no option but to sleep in a cot at her hometown ice rink. It was then that fellow Ukrainian skater, Viktor Petrenko, suggested that Baiul train with his coach (and mother-in-law), Galina Zmievskaya. Shortly thereafter, Baiul moved into Zmievskaya's home in Odessa, sharing a small bedroom with one of Zmievskaya's daughters in a crowded 3 room apartment
Due to the personal upheavals in her life, it would be almost 18 months before Baiul would surface again in international competition following her fourth placed finish in the 1991 Nations Cup (which meant that she did not therefore get to compete in any international junior competitions).
Upon her return, Baiul won the Ukrainian Championships in early 1993, and then made a sensational impact at the 1993 European championships where she finished 2nd to Surya Bonaly:-
1993 European Championships - SP, 1993 European Championships - FS
Baiul followed this up 2 months later by winning the 1993 World Championships in equally sensational style:-
1993 World Championships - SP, 1993 World Championships - FS, Gala
The 1993/94 season began for Baiul with a win at Skate America:-
Skate America (1993) - SP, Skate America (1993) - FS, Exhibition
Baiul then finished 2nd in the Nations Cup
Nations Cup (1993) - SP, Nations Cup - FS
1994 began with victory again in the Ukrainian Championships, and another 2nd placed finish in the European Championships behind Surya Bonaly:-
1994 European Championships - SP, 1994 European Championships - FS, Gala (with Petrenko)
Baiul's amateur competitive career reached its zenith shortly afterwards, when she won Gold at the 1994 Olympics:-
1994 Olympics - SP, 1994 Olympics - FS, Gala (The Swan), Gala (with Petrenko)
Baiul retired from amateur competition after the 1994 Olympics, and then turned professional.
Does anybody know of the whereabouts of videos relating to Baiul's performances in the 1991 Nations Cup, and in the various Soviet/Ukranian Championships she took part in? If so, please upload and/or post the links.