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 become a 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.