Baiul is the first and only skater representing Ukraine to win gold at the Winter Olympics. [nb 1][nb 2] She is also the first Olympic champion of independent Ukraine in any sport. After winning the gold medal, she decided to turn professional in 1994 in order to tour in the United States and have a career based on her skating. She followed one of her coaches to Connecticut. Later she also became involved in a variety of TV appearances, and benefit skates, after treatment for alcohol addiction. She has lived in the United States since 1994.