What is Oksana Baiul’s Net Worth?
Oksana Baiul is a retired Ukrainian figure skater who has a net worth of $20 million. Oksana Baiul won gold medals at the 1993 World Figure Skating Championships and the 1994 Winter Olympics. For her win at the latter, she became the first and only skater representing Ukraine to win gold at the Winter Olympics. In the years after that, Baiul appeared on television and participated in various ice skating tours in the US, and also published a pair of books in 1997.
Oksana Baiul was born on November 16, 1977 in Dnipro in what was then the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union. Her parents, Sergey and Marina, divorced when she was two; her father disappeared shortly after that, and she was subsequently raised by her mother and maternal grandparents. Baiul got into skating early on in life after initially training in ballet. By the time she was five, she was already skating under prominent Ukrainian coach Stanislav Koritek. In the late 80s, Baiul’s grandparents passed away, and her mother later died in 1991. She went on to live with the wife of her skating coach, and moved to Odesa in 1992.
Championships and Winter Olympics Success
Baiul began her competitive skating career at the 1993 European Championships in Helsinki, Finland, where she claimed the silver behind champion Surya Bonaly. After that, Baiul suffered a setback when she crashed into the boards and displaced some back and neck disks during practice. Despite this, she turned in a winning performance at the 1993 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, coming in second in the short program and first in the free skate to claim the gold medal.
Baiul continued her success in 1994, first by taking another silver at the European Championships, again behind Surya Bonaly. She went on to make her Winter Olympics debut in Lillehammer, where she finished second in the short program. During a subsequent practice, Baiul suffered a wrenched lower back and a cut shin after colliding with skater Tanja Szewczenko. Given some Olympic-approved anesthetics, she bounced back to win the free skate and ultimately the gold medal. The US’s Nancy Kerrigan claimed silver while China’s Chen Lu took bronze. With her win, Baiul became the first and only skater representing Ukraine to win a Winter Olympic gold medal, and the first Olympic champion in any sport representing the independent country.
Career in the US
Due to the poor conditions of ice skating infrastructure in Ukraine, Baiul decided to move to the United States following the 1994 Winter Olympics. There, her coach Galina Zmievskaya got her a lucrative contract with the talent agency William Morris Endeavor to tour the country and earn money. Baiul went on to participate in the US Outdoor Skating Challenge, broadcast on CBS television, and to star in productions of “The Nutcracker on Ice” and “The Wizard of Oz on Ice” for the same network. She also participated in the Tom Collins World Champions Tour and led the coaching staff at the newly constructed International Skating Center in Simsbury, Connecticut.
Baiul continued to skate non-competitively into the 21st century. She had a role in the skating stage musical “Cold as Ice” in 2007 at the Gateway Playhouse, and in the years after that skated in the annual show at the Kate Wollman Skating Rink in New York City. Baiul also made appearances on some television game shows unrelated to skating, including Bravo’s “Celebrity Poker Showdown” and ABC’s “Master of Champions.”
In early 1997, Baiul was arrested for driving under the influence after she crashed her car into a tree in Connecticut. Upon completing an alcohol education program and meeting the terms of probation, she had her charges dropped. However, her drinking problem only got worse, prompting her to enter a rehabilitation program for a few months. In an interview conducted in 2004, Baiul said she had been sober for six years.
Personal Life and Charity
Baiul married her manager, Carlo Farina, in early 2015. The couple has a daughter named Sophia and resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Involved in some charitable endeavors, Baiul supports the Tikva Children’s Home Charity, which helps Jewish children in Odesa. She’s also a member of the International Museum of Women, an online museum focused on global women’s issues.