Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Monday, March 21, 2005

OKSANA BAUIL (2 interviews)

Oksana Bajul Asked for Too Much

Article by Sergey Dadygin printed in the Russian Language on-line publication "Express Gazeta" on March, 16th 2005.

A solemn opening of the world championship in figure skating took place in Moscow. The last time such a tournament happened in our country was over 100 years ago in St. Petersburg in 1903.

The Russian Federation of Figure Skating decided to make a broad gesture. It invited, at the expense of the organizing committee, to Moscow all our figure skaters who were also former world champions.

Legendary masters of pair figure skating Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov arrived from Switzerland, where they’d emigrated in the 1970s.

Also arriving was the former partner of well-known skater Irina Rodnina, Mr. Alexey Ulanov, who is currently residing in the USA. In the past it was said that Irina had some tender feelings for Alexey, but he chose as his wife another figure skater, Lyudmila Smirnova (for more on that relationship, please see our update on Irina Rodnina)…. Alexey was invited to Moscow, but not Lyudmila - she is not a world champion.

Three time World Champions Marina Klimova and Sergey Ponomarenko have also settled in America. While Sergey Shahraj, who performed in a pair with Marina Cherkasova, went very far from his partner - to Australia.

Oksana Bajul, the Ukrainian World and Olympic Champion, called the Russian Federation and asked whether it would be possible for her to come to Moscow. The answer to Oksana was yes. But Ms. Bajul suddenly informed the organizing committee that her manager and one more accompanying person would travel with her. Here, our officials lost their patience and rejected the demands of the star who lost her modesty. The answer this time was, if Ms. Bajul would like to go to Moscow, she would have to do it at her own expense, and not of the expense of the organizing committee.

* * *


Interview by a correspondent of the Russian language newspaper" Utro" Andrey VINNITSA (AV), printed on Tuesday, March, 22.

Oksana Bajul (OB) was only 16 when glory fell down on her: at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer unexpectedly for many, the young Ukrainian figure skater won Olympic gold. She was the idol of millions. She received letters by the bag. Oksana left for America in a search of "a beautiful life,” but there she was plagued with troubles. Problems with alcohol and the law cost the figure skater her career. For several years Oksana did not perform, but now she is coming back to the ice. Soon she will be seen in our country: Bajul plans to perform in 30 Russian cities with her exhibition program. Below are revelations from the figure skater in an exclusive interview to "Utro."

OB: I really had problems with alcohol, but already for the last couple of years I do not drink spirits. As to the law, it is true that my driving license was suspended for driving in a state of intoxication. But all this is in the past. Now I am happy with the life which I conduct. I returned to figure skating, I am engaged in business with the help of my friend: I have my own line of clothes for figure skaters. I plan to go with my show though the cities of Russia.

AV: It was said that your business initially did not take.
O.B.: Really, the first time when I opened the business I lost everything. It became for me an unpleasant shock, because in fact I have a persevering character and I try to achieve everything that I want. By the way, my problems with alcohol have been connected with it. I broke down. But now with the help of my common law husband, I have an opportunity to be engaged in my favorite business.

AV: It was written up that you were caught at the wheel of the car with a certain Armenian...
O.B.: And you have believed what I, Oksana Bajul, could date an Armenian?

AV: Well, you were too far away to ask you directly.
O.B.: I did not date any Armenian. And in the car I was with my present boyfriend.

AV: What kind of a person is he?
O.B.: He is a businessman. In general I would tell you that for me men in figure skating do not exist. I like people from the business world who are rich and self-assured. We met each other at a party. And for the first two hours, we argued terribly. He did not know at all who I was. It looked like he never heard about the Olympic Games, or about figure skating.

AV: You work on a line of clothes for figure skaters. What labels do you prefer to wear yourself?
O.B.: I love those designers who give me clothes free of charge. And I manage to receive rather expensive and successful labels.

AV: Everyone already got used to the idea that you have left figure skating. And nevertheless you have returned to professional sports. Was it difficult for you?
O.B.: Certainly. I did not skate for two years. Forgotten everything - how those or other figures are done. The only thing that was demanded of me until this time was to carry out certain figures in bed. In figure skating, I had to begin practically from zero. But I was persistent and in couple of months could return to the ice. However, I would not call professional figure skating a sport. It is more show business, though it has its world championships. But the marks there depend not on the performance, but rather on the basis of which sportsmen the public loves more.

AV: And how would you consider the "amateur" world championship in Moscow? Can you estimate the level of the participants from a professional point of view?
O.B.: Figure skating does not change much. I would not tell you that on the ice there were such sportswomen that I could not beat. But I do not look at anybody as an expert. I applaud all of them. I know how difficult is the life of figure skaters. I know what they had to go through to perform in the world championship. And I do not want to discuss them.

AV: Well than, what do you think of the new system of calculation of points?
O.B.: I simply do not understand it.

AV: Whom do you now feel yourself - an American or Ukrainian?
O.B.: I have a Ukrainian passport and a residence permit in the USA. America is my home.

Translated by G. Sivorinovsky
Web Translations in Real Time

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