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Great Skaters: Oksana Baiul

Updated on December 10, 2014

Lyrical skater in the 90s

Oksana Baiul won the 1993 World Championship and the 1994 Olympics.

Her career was about only two years or so, but her skating talent was remarkable, especially known for her artistic moves and expressiveness.

Like Biellmann, Baiul's career was short, and many speculated how she would have succeeded if she had continued to compete.

Baiul is a lyrical skater in style. You may be comforted watching her skate, if your eyes have been lately polluted by the current ISU's deformed monstrosity.

Oksana Baiul in 1993

Baiul: one of a kind skater

Baiul shows how to skate in triple era. Her speed, power, balance and expressiveness are simply breathtaking. And she was only 15 at the time. Not a single moment did her skating betray any juniorism like today's Russian skaters.

Although her jump qualities are, strictly speaking, low in today's standards - not the current ISU's Russian standards - her executional skills actually kick-your-ass supreme.

Baiul slaps them in the face here. Arguably Oksana Baiul is the best skater in the 90s. You can see all the fundamentals of figure skating knit and packed together in harmony.

Can't believe she was a skater 20 years ago.

Especially her degree of bodily freedom on ice seems incomparable in the 90s. It is pity that Baiul didn't continue skating long enough.

All conditions of her program are equal to today's skaters'

How do you grade Baiul's free?

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Balance and stability are fundamentals

Figure skating is a sport of line and extension. It requires balance and stability along with controlled technical proficiency.

Figure skating is also a physiological sport. The language of figure skating is spoken by your body language. So it is only natural that your body shape makes a difference.

In Baiul's body, her expressiveness and executional skills that are all balanced and contextually connected together, you can see the sport alive. That was once what we called figure skating.

If you look back, there wasn't a time when the sport looked so ugly and incompetent as now. Even 40 or 50 years ago, average skaters were more proficient than today's deformed Russian fakers. But this is the very reality we are facing in figure skating. Using the COP for their greed and agendas, the ISU turned the sport to a monster.

The sport has become a byword and derogatory proverb to the world. The ISU's figure skating is today not figure skating; it is lie and mad politics.

If that performance is done today

How do you grade Baiul's first triple lutz in the above in terms of GOE?

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Oksana Baiul in 1993

Assuming Baiul's layout is similar to today's skaters

How do you grade Bauil's short?

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What is the most bothering you after watching the two clips?

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Alena Leonova in 2014

Skaters that can't skate; jumpers that can't jump

Take a look at the clip above and Baiul's.

Of course comparing today's skaters to Baiul is an insult. Oksana Baiul is a one-of-a kind skater. Bail, though her skating career was short, could have beat even Michelle Kwan, if she had developed further.

You don't have to think all Russians are destined for deformed skating. But I am not sure how plausible it is to see another Baiul from the current Russian skaters pool.

The problem is that 20 or even 30 years ago, even average skaters at that time would have put down the so called those leading Russian skaters if correctly judged.

I am more than willing to appreciate fun and humor in figure skating even in competition, but I can't help thinking, "So are we coming all the way to watch this after 20 years?"

After all these years, all the ISU can offer to the world is skaters that neither can skate nor jump. Some development in the sport.

Worse yet, the ISU doesn't know what they are doing. While producing skaters who will eat the dust by their predecessors 20 years ago, the headquarter of figure skating seems living a borrowed time.


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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 3 years ago from East Coast

      I love watching old videos of Oksana. She was very talented and vivacious at times. The sport doesn't have anyone quite like her now, or since for that matter :)

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 3 years ago from U.S.A.

      Wonderful article! I remember watching Oksana skate in the 1994 Olympics. She was my favorite, and I was so happy that she had won with her beautiful performance.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 3 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      I remember in 1994, just before the Olympics, Oksana Baiul ran into someone, injuring her back. The Nancy Kerrigan / Tonya Harding scandal was in full swing; after the knee bashing, it was believed Nancy Kerrigan may never skate professionally again, but now she was slated to win a medal. I made a little joke saying Oksana Baiul was getting in the injury game a little late, but lo and behold; she won the Gold, while Nancy Kerrigan won the Silver!

      It's an absolute shame Oksana Baiul got into drugs, making her career go down the tubes! But at least she had her moment of glory.