Oksana Masters19 June 1989 Khmelnytskyi, URS
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships - Gold: sprint freestyle, middle distance freestyle and long distance classic cross-country and short distance biathlon; Bronze: long distance biathlon
- 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships - Silver: middle distance classic cross-country and Bronze: sprint cross-country
- 2014-15 IPC Cross-Country World Cup – Overall winner
- Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games - Silver: long distance freestyle cross-country; Bronze: middle distance classic cross-country
Originally from Ukraine, Masters well-documented life story includes being exposed to radiation from the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion, and sent to live in an orphanage after being born with limb impairments.
Masters started rowing when she was 14-years-old, some years after being adopted by a US woman.
Soon after her medal-winning performance with rowing partner Rob Jones on the river at Eton Dorney, which propelled her to national fame and an appearance in ESPN’s The Body Issue, Masters decided a change of sport was needed and set about learning Nordic skiing.
In 2013, she was named to the US Paralympics Nordic Skiing Development Team.
At the Laura Cross-Country and Biathlon Centre, high above the city of Sochi, Masters beat the likes of world No.1 and world No.2 Andrea Eskau of Germany and Norway’s Mariann Marthinsen to claim silver in the women’s long distance freestyle cross-country sitting. She also won bronze in the middle distance classic.
To round-off a whirlwind couple of seasons, Masters got the chance to compete at home at the 2015 World Championships, where she won a silver and bronze medal in cross-country events.
In 2016, Masters turned her focus to her third Paralympic sport. She competed in handcycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but just missed the podium.
Incredibly Masters returned to the snow just months later for the 2016-17 Nordic skiing season. An impressive performance saw her power to the top of the podium at the World Championships four times - and a sweep of the cross-country events.
It also included a gold in biathlon, something which Masters herself said she could not quite believe having previously struggled with shooting. A win of the women's cross-country sitting World Cup rounded off an excellent season in addition to a top three finish in biathlon.
Masters now has her sights firmly set on her first Paralympic titles from all her winter and summer sports, when she takes to the trails of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. There she will face German Nordic skiing legend Andrea Eskau.