Masters ends undefeated, wins overall cross-country world cup

By Katie Branham | March 20, 2016, 10:47 a.m. (ET)
Oksana Masters, pictured at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, finished the 2015-16 season undefeated in cross-country events


VUOKATTI, Finland – Oksana Masters was perfect throughout the 2015-16 season in cross-country competition as she won the final event of the year at the IPC Cross-Country Skiing World Cup and claimed the overall world cup globe on Sunday in Finland.

Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) showed incredible range in her wins as she took first in races ranging from 1-kilometer to the debut of the marathon event at 20km. Masters’ finishes were dominant in fashion, with nearly eight seconds separating her from her closest competitor in the sprint, and more than 28 seconds separating her from the field in the middle distance 5km.

“A major goal of mine this season was to improve in my technical skills,” Masters said. “I learned to ski more smoothly and in control. I am still working on consistency in this and have a lot of room to improve, but I made gains this season which I am really happy about. I hope to build upon that next season.”

Masters win in the marathon on the penultimate day of competition was enough to secure her place at the top of the women’s sitting classification standings to bring home the crystal globe. And at the conclusion of the world cup season on Sunday, Masters was also named the winner of the women’s cross-country world cup, covering all classifications.

“I am really proud of Oksana’s performances this season,” said Elieen Carey, head coach for U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “She never got distracted by winning races, and always approached each race as an opportunity for improvement. She made big leaps in her technical skiing and in her ability to pace long races this season.”

On the men’s side, Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) had a breakout series as he finished with two fourth place finishes in the sprint and middle distance events in the men’s visually impaired class. He also took sixth in the 30km marathon. This was the first international competition for Adicoff since competing in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, where he finished with a best result of sixth in the 20km. Adicoff has been competing for Bowdoin College’s Nordic team where he competes against able-bodied athletes without the use of a guide.

Andy Soule (San Antonio, Texas) gathered fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes in the marathon, middle distance and sprint, respectively in the men’s sitting classification.

With the world cup season complete, the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Skiing Team will turn to off-season conditioning before resuming competition later this winter for the 2016-17 season.

For more information on the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup and complete results, visit Paralympic.org.