Oksana Masters19 June 1989 Khmelnytskyi, URS
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships: Gold - cross-country sprint freestyle, middle distance freestyle and long distance classic and biathlon middle distance; Bronze - biathlon long distance
- 2015 IPC Nordic Skiing World Championships: Silver - cross-country middle distance classic; Bronze - cross-country sprint
- 2014-15 IPC Cross-Country World Cup: Overall winner
- Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games: Silver - cross-country long distance; Bronze - cross-country middle distance
Months after competing in hand-cycling at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Oksana Masters incredibly returned to the snow 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.
The US skier 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.
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 bronze medal-winning performance at London 2012 with rowing partner Rob Jones, 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 cross-country long distance freestyle sitting. She also won bronze in the cross-country 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.