In the words of Ottavio Cinquanta, President of ISU, "Oksana without doubt is the best female skater ever."
Born 17 March 1972 in Odessa/ Ukraine, Oksana Grishuk was the only child of parents who divorced when she was 6 months old. At that time Oksana's father was a football player and her mother was an University student. At age four Oksana started her skating. She has always been someone who does everything with all her heart - with passion, intelligence and a love of perfection. This kind of dedication has been rewarded with a vast array of international prizes.
Oksana's raw talent was recognized as she was 8 years old by one of the most powerful presidents in the world President Leonid Ilich Brejnev. During Oksana's performance on the show - dedicated to the birthday jubilee for President Brejnev - he called her the "little wonder" - due to her excellence on the ice, and Oksana's career had began. Thereafter, Oksana was invited to Moscow – the cultural, sporting and political center of the USSR. In early 1981 Ms. Natalia Lineychuk, the European, World and Olympic ice-dance Champion and Oksana began a schedule of skating and school, which started at 7:00 am and lasted until 8:00 p.m. This grueling schedule paid off with an all time record of 26 Gold Medals for Oksana.
Oksana has two University Diplomas as a skater/coach and as a choreographer/producer. Oksana speaks 3 languages fluently.
Oksana’s Golden Way began at 1994, when the whole world has watched as she won Gold Medals again and again in every competition she skated, until the end of her brilliant eligible career in 1998 and captured audience hearts. These competitions included Five Gold Medals in World Championships and Two Olympic Gold Medals in Lillehammer, Norway 1994 and Nagano, Japan 1998.
This was the first time any ice-dancing team had repeated as Gold Medalists and this amazing string of successes; along with her world championships, proved she is the greatest female ice-dancer the world has ever seen.
This feat was so outstanding that the following statement was made about her by the President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Piseev, an ISU member: "Oksana is one of figure skating’s brightest stars and a true phenomenon. Only once or twice in a century does a skater or performer come along that is blessed with pure talent and charisma. Oksana is just that phenomenon".
"I hope my achievements in life shall be these: that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, that I will have given help to those who were in need...," said Oksana.
Oksana Grishuk is the most talented and versatile of Figure Skaters. She brought to ice-skating a revolutionary quick way of skating and a brilliant technique.
Ms. Grishuk has also been honored by having one of her free-dance performances - Rock' n' Roll - selected by the ISU as an Original Dance, for test & competitive skaters, at the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998. The Olympic '98 Original Dance "Jive" is based on the Rock' n' Roll Free Dance choreographed and performed by Ms. Grishuk and her partner as their sensational gold winning performance at the Olympic Games in Lillehammer, 1994.
Nobody stands close to her speed and technique. Mr. Dick Button - himself an Olympic Champion - said this of Oksana: “This Lady is a firecracker, she has some spark and flare......technique is brilliant. Her magic skating made her a great crowd pleasure, stealing the audience hearts".
"Oksana has a mastery of edges, like no one else. She does not simply skate - she truly flies over the ice!" - (Olympic Champion - ISU Vice President, Mr. Gorshkov)."Her skating is captivatingly artistic, technique brilliant and spontaneous....Oksana is an intelligent and knowledgeable skater".
Her artistic plasticity and correct sense of style enable her to be natural in any of her performances. However, her artistic individuality is revealed to the greatest effect in modern-classic, she has a great affinity for classic's lift intellectualism and romantic's penetrating passion. Her intellectual analysis of the material is aimed at discovering the logic of emotional movement, her passion never gets out. It is subjected to the requirements of intellectual discipline. Her nobly poised manner rather than restrain her temperament and inner expressively, enhances its dramatic intensity.
Oksana's skating is full of emotion and captivates with the power and sincerity of the expressed feelings. Amazing is the beauty of the original dances. Unusual is her beginning in which one can easily see the artistic transformation. Oksana's gift and vivid, sparkling talent manifested themselves very early. With her spiritual development technical skills were being complemented by a great scope of thinking, profound insight into the concept of choreography, subtle phrasing and a wealth of movement’s palette. And all this combined with the enchantment of youth and purity of emotions.
"If I could tell you what I meant, I wouldn't need to dance" - said Oksana.
Oksana with her partner was the hit of every ice-dance competition, show and received many standing ovations and it's well known that Oksana brought many, new fans to ice-dancing. It's sad that their unique team died so early in August 1998, directly after the Nagano games, without even reaching the maturity of their souls. The Figure skating world has lost so much... but sometimes life is really unfair.
Today Oksana resides in the most beautiful and cultural center in the world, Los Angeles, where she can be found practicing at a local rink for several hours each day as a solo-dancer, always feminine, but resilient, graceful and determined, she continues to fight her way through.
This Russian/American beauty is also a choreographer, producer, talk show host, Hollywood actress, model and commentator. Now Oksana stars in professional made for TV skating shows; some co-produced by her own company - 'Angels on Ice' - together with her manager Mr. Jay Ward. Oksana incorporates a variety of skating styles within her performances: contemporary to classical ballet.
As such you can see her brilliant technique full with gracefulness: beautiful laybacks, spins, spirals, huge extensions, fast and intricate footwork, falling leaf, characters that tell a story and some great jumps - and as per reviews - the audience was entranced by her presence, style, bearing and grace on the ice too, as well as her wonderful performances.
But not only all these gold medals make Oksana a special person, her Golden Heart makes her even more unforgettable for many people.
"Please remember that childhood is a treasure and a right and we all are responsible for that" - said Oksana.
Her good works for Orphan Houses show to everyone who Oksana is - she is a LIVING LEGEND and a role model for many, many skaters, fans and for all the people. Oksana deserved her Patriarch Moscowsky Award, presented as a tribute to her many, ongoing charitable works. http://www.oksangrishuk.com/charities
People love Oksana because she has a champion's heart and is always showing us beauty and fantasy on the ice, as well as giving her all. Oksana was skating for second Olympic Gold Medals not for herself, but for the evolution of the sport she loves. How can we forget Nagano, when she skated with a broken arm and with incredible pain inside but with a sweet smile on her beautiful face? She was skating these Olympic games for millions of people, all over the world, for the Olympic Games very existence which are a Symbol of peace and friendship between all peoples of the world.
Therefore Oksana deserved her TWO very prestigious Russian Government's Biggest Orders, given by the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin for Ms. Oksana Grishuk: "Supreme Order of Friendship of Nations" and as a heroine of our time Ms. Oksana Grishuk was awarded in February 1998 with the most prestigious Orders by the President of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin: "Order for Great Services Performed for the Fatherland Third Class" (the highest degree)!
The Mayor of the city of Marlborough, Massachusetts Mayor William Mauro awarded Ms. Oksana Oksana Grishuk with the very prestigious "Key to the city of Marlborough, Mass". February 16th every year in Marlborough is now 'Oksana Grishuk Day'.
Oksana's fan-meetings and her relationships with her fans have already become a legend.
Oksana is a phenomenon; she has what no one other has - magic.
"When she skates, you look at her and cannot turn your head, you are afraid to breathe because you might destroy the magical atmosphere around she makes during her performance"- Ice-dancing Olympic Champion from 1980 Gennady Karponosov stated. "While watching Oksana's performances the beauty of Oksana's skating makes my heart melt! I do not know where the borderline between sports and pure art is, but I know for sure that Oksana had crossed this line, touching our souls and bringing tears to our eyes! This is the reason why all of us love and support her and will be here for her in bad and good times!!!"
Not only do her tremendous number of Gold Medals and Government Ordens speak for themselves, but the comments of some of the greatest skaters and dignitaries amplify the fact that she is the greatest female ice-dancer in history.