Skater Oksana Baiul ensures her place in Ukrainian history by becoming the independent country's first Olympic champion at Lillehammer 1994.
- Figure Skating
- Representing UKR
Orphaned at the age of 13, Ukrainian figure skater Oksana Baiul was taken in by her coach and by the age of 15 she was the 1993 world champion.
Before then she had never competed in an international junior competition, but a year later she was the Olympic champion in Ladies Singles - the first Ukrainian women to win an Olympic Figure Skating medal.
Baiul was only 16 years old when she captured gold at the Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994 - making her, at the time, the second youngest figure skater in history to do so, after Norway’s Sonja Henie.
But her success was somewhat overlooked as it came in the middle of a media circus revolving around the much-publicised scandal with American’s Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.
Immediately following the Games, Baiul retired from amateur competition after just two seasons, signing a professional contract in the United States where she has since lived.
After her mother died from cancer and her grandparents passed away, it was fellow Ukrainian skater Viktor Petrenko who suggested that Baiul train with his coach - and mother-in-law - Galina Zmiyevskaya.
Skating with Oksana Baiul
Memorable Winter Games Moments
Do you remember?