Masters Wins Gold, Soule Silver In Cross-Country World Championships

By Katie Branham | Feb. 12, 2017, 9:39 a.m. (ET)
Oksana Masters (center) took first place in the women's sitting cross-country sprint at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

  • Team USA won two medals in the cross-country sprint at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships
  • Oksana Masters won gold in the women’s sitting cross-country sprint to claim her first world title
  • Andy Soule won silver in the men’s sitting cross-country sprint

FINSTERAU, Germany – Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky) claimed her first world title as she won gold in convincing fashion, and U.S. Army veteran Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas) brought home silver to complete the two-medal day for Team USA in the cross-country sprint at the 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships.

Masters, a three-time Paralympian in rowing, Nordic skiing and cycling, earned the title of world champion for the first time in her career. She was dominant throughout the day as she advanced easily with the fastest time in qualifying and a first place finish in her semifinal round. In the final of the women’s sitting division, Masters outdistanced silver-medalist Andrea Eskau of Germany to bring home the title. Masters and Eskau are only five months removed from competing against one another in cycling at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

After winning bronze in this event at the 2015 edition of the world championships, Soule moved up one spot on the podium with his silver in the men’s sitting cross-country sprint. Soule remains the most decorated Nordic skier in U.S. history as he now owns six world championship medals.

Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) also competed for Team USA in the men’s sitting class. Pike finished fifth in qualifying, but did not advance out of his semifinal heat.


Oksana Masters

“This was unreal. I’ve been competing in sports for so long, and this was my first world championship title. I’ve put anything and everything I had into sprinting, especially after getting so close in Sochi. I’m just so excited to bring home a world championship for Team USA for the Paralympic Nordic program.”

Andy Soule

“Today was incredible. It was one of those days you live for as a ski racer. A lot of hard work paid off today. It was a nice clean race with really good tactics, and I was able to get in a really good position. And of course our wax tech put together some fantastic skis.”


Competition resumes on Tuesday, Feb. 14 with the biathlon individual and continues through Feb. 19.


Follow live results on the Finsterau 2017 website and U.S. Paralympics on Facebook and Twitter for Team USA updates.