Oksana Baiul and Adoption
Ukrainian-American Ice Skater
Baiul was born in Dnepropetrovsk. Different sources give the year as 1977 or 1978 and the date as 26 February, 16 October and 16 and 26 November. Her surname is spelled Bayul or Baiul, according to different romanizations.
Her father abandoned the family when she was two. As a child she wanted to be a ballet dancer, but was overweight. Her grandfather bought her a pair of skates when she was four to help her slim down and she began winning competitions when she was nine. Her mother died of cancer in 1991. She was then fostered by her coach, Stanislav Koretek, but he emigrated to Canada soon afterwards and she was fostered by Galina Zmievskaya, a famous ice skating coach, and the mother-in-law of the skater Viktor Petrenko. She won the world championship in Prague in 1993 and the gold medal in the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.
Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Shaughnessy, Linda. Oksana Baiul: Rhapsody on Ice. (Parsippany: Crestwood House, 1997) (Figure Skaters) Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 Baiul, Oksana, and Alexander, Heather. Oksana: My Own Story. (New York: Random House, 1997) Eden, Dan. "Oksana, Then and Now." [Includes portraits]. Available at: www.viewzone.com/oksana.html Todzia, P.A. "Life of a Saucy Showgirl (a Biography of Oksana Bayul)". Available at: www.friends-partners.org/oldfriends/life/oksana.bio.html