Oksana Masters (Picture: Michael Steele – Getty Images)
Born in Ukraine in 1989, Oksana Masters is one of the Tchenorbyl nuclear catastrophe victim. The radiation from the 1986 explosion led to many radio-induced birth defects.
The young Ukrainian was born with shinless legs of different lengths, webbed fingers, six toes on both of her feet and was raised in an orphanage in Ukraine until the age of seven. She was adopted by an American professor who had no biological children. Gay Masters offered the young girl a better life on American soil.
In her teenage years, Oksana Masters had both of her legs amputated and underwent multiple hand surgeries. After a successful career in para-plane and paranordic ski, she started route paracycling. Oksana Masters unfortunatelymissed the podium in the 2016 Rio Paralympics in the H4-H5 women’s division. Five years later, the American put her hand on two paralympic titles in the individual pursuit category and the race road category.
With these two medals, she brings her total of Paralympic Games medals to 17, combining titles in both the summer and winter paralympic events since her debut in the 2012 London games. You will have to keep an eye on her in August in Baie-Comeau !