Monday, May 4, 2009

Blue Baiul

It was in 94. I sat in my living room glued to the TV watching the figure skating competition during the winter Olympics . I was anticipating the show down between Nancy and Tonya. My focus quickly turned from the 2 Americans to the little pixie from the Ukraine.

It seems like yesterday when that black swan took to the ice, and at the same time took the breath from my chest. I had never seen skating like that before. Where did the ballerina on skates come from? She not only captured the hearts of everyone watching (except for Nancy fans) with her skating, but she also had a heart breaking story of being a orphan. Seeing her win the gold was like a perfect ending to a Cinderella story.

She stood on the podium tears pouring down her face, doing what Oprah describes as the “Ugly Cry.” She held her gold metal up to the heavens so her proud Mother who was watching could boast of her talented daughter to all the other angels. It was a moment I will never forget.

As I watched with tears in my eyes I couldn't’t help but notice another thing that stood out to me. It appeared to be a halo. Was it her guardian angel? As I moved closer to the TV I figured it out . It was back lit frizzy pony tail from a bad over processed perm that hung right below her occipital bone. Her bangs where formed into a crisp sculpture that stood high on the front of her head. It resembled a title wave that was about to emerge with the tears flowing down her face. I looked into the TV and said “Gurl I got to do your hair.”

It was shortly after that day , all the news stations where reporting that our new Olympic champion would be moving to a new skating rink in Ct. She was going to be only a short distance away. Do I have the power of the “SECRET”? Did I will this to be? Was I actually going to be this gifted child’s coiffure?

As fate would have it, I got a call at the salon one day. The voice on the other end had a strong Russian accent that was requesting an appointment with “Jonny”. It was Oksana Baiul. The day she sat in my chair the day our friendship started. And I’ve been doing her hair ever since.

Oksana and I have been through a lot together, and have become super close. I’ve traveled the country with her doing her hair for numerous shows, shoots and commercials. And I often tell her if she wasn’t a skater she most likely would be doing hair and makeup. My nickname for her is “Product Whore.” She cant get enough of it. The down side of her passion is that sometimes she thinks she is a Hairdresser. She not afraid of change nor is she afraid of doing it herself.

This past weekend I got a voice mail from her. She sounded desperate as she begged me to caller her back. I call her worried that she has some tragic news, and tragic it was. With a quivering voice she says “John can you help me?” I ask “what’s wrong”? With hesitation in her voice she answers “John I turned my hair blue. I think I got the wrong blonde color.” I start laughing at her as I have done in the past when ever she has turned her hair a funny color. She tells me its not funny and that she has a show the next day, and doesn’t know what to do. I make the suggestion of a blue dress or something that going to match her new hair. When that failed to humor to her I give her secret formula to try to take her sapphire hair back to blonde. My concoction worked enough for her to get through the weekend.

I promised her I'm going to fix it. I will hound her the entire time with “ I told you so” all the while knowing this wont be the last time I get this same phone call. I guess it’s a good time for us to catch up seeing as we both are always busy.Yes, this ice queen will once again be blonde with no guarantee that it will remain that way for long.


  1. nice story and greeting from ukraine!!!

  2. Great story. She is such a wonderful skater.