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Oksana Baiul: I'm happy to be here. Yes, I'm ready.
Oksana Baiul: No, I have a choreographer, and I like to work with a lot of people. I have a lot of choreographers. They're all giving me rather different styles, and I can learn from all the different choreographers a lot.
Oksana Baiul: Hmm.... That's a tough one. Hmm. Well, it's such a beautiful sport. You know, I'm on tour right now, with Champions on Ice. We have a lot of people coming into the show, with their families and kids, and they just love it, because it's so beautiful, skating together. And that's why. I find it so beautiful -- it's a beautiful sport, you know.
Oksana Baiul: [laughs] Oh my God. I have no clue! I just skate in them. That's the only way I know. I hate to break in my own skates, but that's what I have to do every year.
Oksana Baiul: Hmm. I guess being an actress. I like to go on the ice, and I like to be...like, let's say, in the show, I'm doing two numbers. The first might be about love, and the second might be a completely different number, and you have to be a totally different person. And I guess I just love that part, transforming from one person to another. Just like an actress. I like that.
Oksana Baiul: [laughs] Well, you know what? For me, I'm not watching myself. That's the problem. [laughs] For me, I'm not trying to listen to what they say, because that's just their job, that's what they have to say. So for me, I'm listening to my fans. To my crowd, that's who I'm listening to.
Oksana Baiul: For me? Double Axel. I think.
Oksana Baiul: Well, because I think people really wanted to find out more about me -- about my tasks, my life, about what I'm doing with my life. That's why I wrote that book, and to explain -- right now I'm a professional, and I used to be an amateur -- and most people, they have no idea what it's about. But there's two different levels, I guess, professional and amateur, and I wanted to explain that to my readers.
Oksana Baiul: Well, actually, what I'm doing, I'm trying to concentrate on my number. I'm trying to concentrate on this whole program. Not on one thing here, and one thing there. And if I fall, so what? It's all about the whole picture, not about jumping or doing one trick or another. It's about the whole number.
Oksana Baiul: All right...I like to do embroidery a lot, I like to go out, I'm a great cook -- great cook -- and I also have a lot of stuffed animals -- toys, whatever.
Oksana Baiul: I do know them, actually, very well. Right now, Nancy is skating with me, on the Champions on Ice tour, and we're very good friends. All that stuff about us not being friends, well, back then, I didn't even speak English. So a lot of that wasn't true. And all that stuff between her and Tonya, well, that's between them. I'm friends with them both. And I'm not trying to get between them. The interview, well, from what I know about that show, I feel good about that. But it's not my deal.
Oksana Baiul: Felt great. I was proud of myself.
Oksana Baiul: [laughs] Well, it was great -- it was a great experience, we had a lot of fun when we used to work together. It was great.
Oksana Baiul: I guess, I have no clue, because, you know, I won the gold, right? And there was nothing else for me to do as an amateur, and I needed something different to do. That's why I went pro.
Oksana Baiul: Yeah, it was. Well, it was harder, because, you know, you have to deal with a new body, and that's what happened to me. When you do grow up, what happens is your weight starts changing, and it becomes harder to jump. So I had to find that balance, between being 5 feet and 5 feet 4 inches, and that's what happened to me.
Oksana Baiul: Let's say, me and my choreographer, we put together a program for ten days, and then I train on that program for a month, month and a half, before I perform that program. But I change things; I'm not like a robot. I try to change my speed, change my jumps -- it gets so boring doing the same thing over and over again. So I try to change it up, so as not to be bored.
Oksana Baiul: Well, you know what? It's not scary to me at all, because I think it really doesn't matter how high you can jump. I think the really important part is how you perform on the ice, and how you put those jumps into the program.
Oksana Baiul: It depends, because we have to travel a lot, especially when we're on tour, so you know, sometimes the show is at 11:00, and sometimes we get back to the hotel at 4am, and then sleep in until noon, and then we'll have to get to another show, and so I drink a lot of coffee. Then I have to do my hair, and costumes, and then do my show. So that's a day in the life on tour.
Oksana Baiul: No. No. Because we're trying to keep everything nice and calm and quiet. I'm not ever trying to fight with anybody, because I'm losing my good energy if I do that. I don't think anybody really fights. There's a lot of different personalities, so there's some differences, but soon it becomes like a big family.
Oksana Baiul: Actually, what happened, I tried to quit a couple of times. Twice in my life. Once when my mom passed away, and my coach went to Canada, and I had nobody around, and I thought, OK, that's enough. I really wanted to be a normal teenager then, and quit. But I didn't. The second time was after my car accident. I thought, OK, I'll try to go to college, or I'll be a makeup artist. But it didn't happen. Because I was always at home by myself, and I got so many letters, all alone in my house, saying "We want you back, Oksana," and I just started crying. And there were two voices in me, and one was saying go back, and the other was saying no, you quit, you can't go back. And, well, now I'm here. It's my life. I'm a skater.
Oksana Baiul: The lady who used to be my coach, I'm not working with her anymore, but we're still friends.
Oksana Baiul: When I was an amateur, I liked them both. I didn't prefer my short or my long; I liked them both.
Oksana Baiul: Hmm. I guess, to go on the ice and be happy out there. Be proud of themselves. That's what they have to do. Feel great when they're skating.
Oksana Baiul: Well, actually, I'm not doing a book-signing tour, because I'm already on tour -- a skating tour -- so I do some signing on this tour. But Victor, he's a great friend. He supports me, gives me high fives on the ice, helps me out. I like him a lot!! He's my friend.
Oksana Baiul: Nope. [laughs] It was a long time ago. No. But my mom told me I was really good. But what else is she going to say? [laughs]
Oksana Baiul: Well, I was working, working, working. That's what I used to do. I used to work and work and work. Skate and skate and skate. But I really wasn't skating to be a star or an Olympic champion. I was just thinking, well, I have to skate because I really love to skate. That's how I was training. That's what I was doing.
Oksana Baiul: Actually, I don't, because I really don't have anybody up there, just two friends -- two girls -- and just two summers ago they were here in America, visiting me. So I'm not going to go back there. I enjoy being in America! Sitting here, and talking to you!
Oksana Baiul: I guess I'll have ten kids, a huge family. I hope so. That's what I'm thinking of doing. And, what else? I think I'll be a good coach. That's what I will do. Then I will teach my kids how to skate.
Oksana Baiul: Actually, to make a costume, it's a very important part, because for me, it has to fit for your body, your movements. I'm actually working very closely with the woman who makes my costumes. I tell her what I like, what I want. I work very closely with her.
Oksana Baiul: Hmm. No, I like them all. Because I don't like to have some favorite skaters, because I think they all work very hard, for the upcoming Olympics, so I feel very, very proud of all of them. I don't want to judge them. I just want to feel very proud of all of them. That's what I will do.
Oksana Baiul: Well, you know what? Sometimes, I mean, I do have a problem with my back, because I was born with one vertebra missing. So I do have a problem, and I have a physical trainer on tour. She's working with me a lot, doing a lot of massages, chiropractic. But we're all having problems. Let's say Michelle with her leg, me with my back; I guess Nancy has a problem with her foot right now. But that's the life, I guess.
Oksana Baiul: I do have a cross, actually. My mom gave it to me. And I'm wearing that cross all the time. When I'm sleeping, when I'm eating, when I'm working -- I wear it all the time.
Oksana Baiul: Thank you. No, I don't think so, because I'm way too busy with my skating right now. I don't have any time; it's just skating, skating, skating.
Oksana Baiul: No, because I think my coach, Galena, chose that music for me, and because my mom, she always wanted for me to be a ballet dancer. And Galena said, why don't we try to combine ballet with the ice? So that's why we chose that music.
Oksana Baiul: Because I really didn't want to talk. There was like nothing to say, you know? I said everything by my performance on the ice. So there was nothing left to say.
Oksana Baiul: As a skater...whew! I guess the hardest lesson to me was to go out there and not put a lot of pressure on my shoulders, because that's what I used to do, and just enjoy myself. Because I used to try to do a perfect program. And I'd be so critical of myself. And now, for me, I try to go out there now and just be who I am. And enjoy myself. And that's been my hardest lesson from my skating.
Oksana Baiul: Thank you very much!