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MASTERS Oksana
Sport Para biathlon, Para cross-country, Para-Cycling, Rowing
NPC United States   
GenderWomen
Age29
Place of BirthKhmelnytskyi, URS
Height1.73 m
Weight 57 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW12
Further Personal Information
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up Nordic skiing in 2013 in Breckenridge, CO, United States of America.
Why this sport?
"Cross-country skiing was an accident. I love winter, I love snow, I lived in Buffalo, I am from Ukraine where it gets cold in winter, so it is in my blood. A cross-country skiing coach heard that I wanted to try it and gave me that opportunity. A few weeks later I got to go out on the snow and try it, and I fell in love with it."
Club / Team
Bridger Ski Foundation [BSF]: Bozeman, MT, USA
Name of coach
Eileen Carey [national], USA; Gary Colliander, USA
Senior International Debut
Year
2013
Competing for
United States
General Interest
Nicknames
Roxy, Oops-Ana Grace, Mustafa (teamusa.org, 14 Nov 2013; leoweekly.com, 25 May 2011)
Hobbies
Swimming, rowing, working out, travel. (teamusa.org, 01 Jun 2017; oksanamastersusa.com, 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning two gold medals at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
Her adoptive mother Gay, Nordic skiing coach Eileen Carey, rowing coach Bob Hurley. (Athlete, 29 Mar 2018)
Injuries
She injured her right arm two weeks prior to the start of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. At the time she was told she would not be able to compete in Pyeongchang, but she recovered in time to win a silver medal on the first day of the Games in the 6km sitting event. (pyeongchang2018.com, 10 Mar 2018)

She experienced back problems in 2014. (oksanamastersusa.com, 2017)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She brings a candle with her to competitions to give her hotel room a feel of home. (teamusa.org, 10 Nov 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"To be irreplaceable one must always be different." (Twitter profile, 04 Sep 2017)
Awards and honours
She was named the 2017 Para Nordic Skier of the Year by online publication FasterSkier. (fasterskier.com, 10 Apr 2017)

She was named the Female Athlete of the Month for March 2015 by the United States Olympic Committee [USOC]. (teamusa.org, 10 Apr 2015)

She was named the 2012 United States [US] Rowing Female Athlete of the Year. (teamusa.org, 14 Nov 2013)

She and her teammate Rob Jones received the 2012 Isabel Bohn Award for Achievement in Adaptive Rowing in United States of America. (usrowing.org, 10 Oct 2012)

She received the Metro Disability Coalition Spotlight Award in 2002 and 2007. (teamusa.org, 01 Jun 2017)
Other sports
She has competed at the Paralympic Games in rowing, road cycling, cross-country skiing and biathlon. She participated in road cycling at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, and competed in biathlon and cross-country skiing at the 2014 Games in Sochi. She also won a bronze medal in rowing at the 2012 Games in London. (paralympic.org, 2017; Facebook page, 07 Sep 2017)
Impairment
She was born with tibial hemimelia, which meant her legs were different lengths and did not have shinbones. She also had five webbed fingers without a thumb, six toes on each foot and only one kidney. Both of her legs were amputated above the knee, one at age nine and the other at age 14. (uoflphysicians.com, 06 Mar 2014; espn.go.com, 11 Jul 2012)
Other information
GOLDEN INSPIRATION
She used the gold medals won in the team sprint at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang by compatriots Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins as a motivational tool ahead of the Paralympic Winter Games weeks later. "I think I'm on my 750,000th time now. I re-watch it every single night and it gives me the same kind of goosebumps and chills because it's such a historical moment and it definitely inspires me to try to get the same historic achievement for the US Paralympics team. In Para Nordic skiing we have silver and bronze but we don't have a gold medal yet and watching that race has definitely helped me believe that, 'Oh my gosh, we can do it'." (pyeongchang2018.com, 05 Mar 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
She became the first US athlete to win a gold medal at a Para Nordic skiing world championships when she placed first at the 2017 edition in Finsterau, Germany. (skitrax.com, 12 Feb 2017)

UKRAINE TO UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
She was born in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, located just a few hours from Chernobyl, Ukraine, the scene of a nuclear accident in 1986. Her birth mother's exposure to radiation from living nearby is believed to be a major factor in Masters' impairment. She was abandoned at an orphanage after she was born, but was adopted by Gay Masters at age seven and taken to the United States of America. "Where I was from, they had radiation leaks. A cop [policeman] in my village would go around and say, 'lock up,' and you boarded your windows and doors and didn't come out for a day or two to let the radiation die down. I was in a very poor orphanage so there wasn't much food. There was never enough to satisfy the hunger. There was also abuse, physically and sexually. I don't remember much because many memories are blocked out. I always knew that I would have a mother, I just had to wait." (uatoday.tv, 30 Oct 2015; uoflphysicians.com, 06 Mar 2014; espn.go.com, 11 Jul 2012)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships - Rowing
Rank Year Event Result
4 2013 Trunk & Arms Double Sculls 4:03.61
Paralympic Games - Rowing
Rank Year Event Result
3 2012 Trunk & Arms Double Sculls 4:05.56
Road World Championships - Para-Cycling
Rank Year Event Result
4 2014 H5 - Time Trial 33:31
4 2014 H5 - Road Race 1:41:17
4 2015 H5 - Time Trial 25:55
3 2015 H5 - Road Race 1:22:36
Paralympic Games - Para biathlon
Rank Year Event Result
4 2014 6km Sprint - Sitting 19:43.2
8 2014 10km Middle - Sitting 40:22.8
2 2018 6km Sprint - Sitting 22:14.8
  2018 10km Middle - Sitting  DNF
2 2018 12.5km Individual - Sitting 50:00.0
Paralympic Games - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
2 2014 12km - Sitting 39:16.0 
4 2014 1km Sprint - Sitting 2:47.6
3 2014 5km - Sitting 17:04.8 
3 2018 12km - Sitting 39:04.9
1 2018 Sprint - Sitting 4:06.7
1 2018 5km - Sitting 16:42.0
Paralympic Games - Para-Cycling
Rank Year Event Result
5 2016 H4-5 - Time Trial 33:49.70
4 2016 H5 - Road Race 1:37:09
World Championships - Para biathlon
Rank Year Event Result
8 2014/2015 6km Sprint - Sitting 23:41.5
9 2014/2015 10km Middle - Sitting 42:43.2
4 2016/2017 10km Middle - Sitting 36:53.7
3 2016/2017 12.5km Individual - Sitting 46:43.7
1 2016/2017 6km Sprint - Sitting 20:56.2
World Championships - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
4 2014/2015 12km - Sitting 41:15.5
3 2014/2015 1km Sprint - Sitting  
7 2014/2015 4 x 2.5km Relay Mixed 34:47.0
2 2014/2015 5km - Sitting 16:07.5
1 2016/2017 1km Sprint - Sitting  
1 2016/2017 12km - Sitting 36:01.0
1 2016/2017 5km - Sitting 14:15.5