World champions back to action at the World Cup Finals in Ostersund

USA teammates Kendall Gretsch and Oksana Masters go head to head again in last competition before the Beijing 2022 Winter Games 26 Jan 2022
Two smiley women showing their medals in a snow sport competition
Oksana Masters (left) and Kendall Gretsch shared the podium in the women's long distance sitting race in Lillehammer
ⒸAlex Livesey/Getty Images
By World Para Snow Sports

Four days after the end of the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, the Para Nordic skiing action moves to the host city of the next Worlds as Ostersund, Sweden hosts the final World Cup of the 2021-2022 season. 

Nearly 110 athletes from 17 nations will go to the snow in two Para biathlon and two Para cross-country skiing competition days from Thursday (27 January) to Tuesday (1 February).

Among them, two USA athletes who had to make a quick transition from summer to winter sports after winning gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Among the main stars in the women’s sitting events, Kendall Gretsch and Oksana Masters arrive in Sweden following a very successful trip to Lillehammer.

Gretsch triumphed in two Para biathlon events (middle and long distances) and one Para cross-country race, the middle-distance classic which took place before Masters travel to Norway – as she was still recovering from COVID.

Masters bagged gold in cross-country skiing in the long-distance free style (with Gretsch in second) and the sprint classic. 

“It is great to have someone pushing you every single day, that is what you want as an athlete,” Gretsch said. 

“Ostersund will be the last set of races we have before Beijing [2022 Paralympic Winter Games], then we go back to USA and continue training [for the Games]. It is exciting, as Beijing is our main goal for this season,” she added.


Travelling together for most of the Para snow sports season and getting reading to live in the same building in the Athletes’ Village in Beijing, the two athletes were in completely different environments in Tokyo. 

Gretsch won gold in Para triathlon in the Japanese capital while Masters was competing in Para cycling in the Fuji Speedway – picking two golds in road cycling races.

”I was already back home in the US when she competed. We were in completely different areas because of COVID, but it was fun to watch her and cheer for her on TV as I don’t get to do it very often,” Gretsch said.

The World Cup Finals in Ostersund will also see athletes who missed the World Championships and are recovering ahead of Beijing. 

Sweden’s Zebastian Modin could not travel to Norway because of COVID, while Germany’s Clara Klug is coming back from injury. 

The cross-country skiing middle-distance classic events kick off the programme in Sweden on Thursday with six gold medals up for grabs.

Live results from Ostersund 2022 can be found here.