It was hard to see Oleksandra Kononova miss the 2017-18 season, including the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, due to health-related issues. The Ukrainian Nordic skier had dominated the women's standing category for years.
But she seems to be back into full form as she secured six wins across biathlon and cross-country events over two World Cups in the 2018-19 season.
The last major competition Kononova shone at was the 2017 World Championships, where she claimed six medals including three individual world titles in both cross-country and biathlon.
She also finished top of both the overall women's biathlon and cross-country standing World Cup rankings.
But Kononova has followed a long path before becoming one of her country’s best Nordic skiers.
As the youngest member of the team at Vancouver 2010 at just 19-years-old, she picked up three golds in the women’s biathlon long distance, as well as the cross-country sprint and middle distance.
In the following year, she added one more gold to that tally in biathlon at her second World Championships.
Abandoned by her parents as a baby and raised by her grandmother, a bone infection in her right hand caused a reduction in growth that worsened as she grew older.
At Sochi 2014, Kononova won biathlon long distance gold yet again, while also winning silver in the biathlon middle distance and cross-country sprint.
In 2015, she followed that up with an incredible six world titles across cross-country and biathlon. In addition, Kononova won the overall biathlon World Cup and finished a strong third in the cross-country edition.
In 2015-16, the Ukrainian finished third overall in both the biathlon and cross-country World Cups.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
In 2011 she won the Best Games Debut award at the IPC Paralympic Awards in recognition of her performance at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (paralympic.org.ua, 09 Feb 2012)
She has received the title of Honoured Master of Sport in Ukraine. (Athlete, 05 Dec 2018; dsmsu.gov.ua, 31 May 2018)
|Women's 12.5 km Individual Standing||Final Round||1|
|Women's 3x2.5 km Relay Open||Final Round||2|
|Women's 15 km Standing||Final Round||4|
|Women's 5 km Standing||Final Round||1|
|Women's 1 km Sprint Standing||Final Round||1|
|Women's 3 km Pursuit Standing||Qualification||6|
|Women's 3 km Pursuit Standing||Final Round||6|
|Women's Sprint - Classic Standing||Final||2013-02-25||3|
|Women's Long Distance - Free Style Standing||Final||2013-02-27||2|
|Women's Short Distance Standing||Final||2013-02-28||3|
|Women's Middle Distance Standing||Final||2013-03-01||3|
|Women's Long Distance Standing||Final||2013-03-03||8|
|Women's Middle Distance - Classic Standing||Final||2013-03-05||1|
|Women's 6 km Standing||Final Round||2014-03-08||5|
|Women's 15 km Standing||Final Round||2014-03-10||6|
|Women's 10 km Standing||Final Round||2014-03-11||2|
|Women's 1 km Sprint Standing||Final Round||2014-03-12||5|
|Women's 12.5 km Standing||Final Round||2014-03-14||1|
|4x2.5 km Mixed Relay||Final Round||2014-03-15||4|
|Women's 5 km Standing||Final Round||2014-03-16||3|
|Women's Short Distance Standing||Race 1||2015-01-24||1|
|Women's Long Distance - Free Style Standing||Race 1||2015-01-25||1|
|Women's Middle Distance Standing||Race 1||2015-01-27||1|
|Women's Sprint - Classic Standing||Race 1||2015-01-28||1|
|Women's Long Distance Standing||Race 1||2015-01-30||1|
|Women's Middle Distance - Classic Standing||Race 1||2015-01-31||1|
|Women's Middle Distance Standing||Final||2017-02-11||1|
|Women's Sprint - Free Style Standing||Final||2017-02-12||2|
|Women's Long Distance Standing||Final||2017-02-14||8|
|Women's Long Distance - Classic Standing||Final||2017-02-16||1|
|Women's Sprint Standing||Final||2017-02-18||2|
|Women's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing||Final||2017-02-19||1|
|Women's Middle Distance Standing||Final||2019-02-16||3|
|Women's Middle Distance - Free Style Standing||Final||2019-02-17||3|
|Women's Sprint - Free Style Standing||Final||2019-02-18||5|
|Women's Sprint Standing||Final||2019-02-20||2|
|Women's Long Distance Standing||Final||2019-02-21||2|
|Women's Long Distance - Classic Standing||Final||2019-02-24||7|