Nordic Skiers Cap Off World Cup Season With Impressive Showing In Sapporo

By Stafford Braxton | March 22, 2017, 12:29 p.m. (ET)
Oksana Masters
Oksana Masters ends the world cup season with 13 podium finishes. 
  • Oksana Masters secured the overall women’s sitting world cup title in cross-country at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals in Sapporo, Japan.
  • Team USA won six medals, including three gold, at the world cup finale.

SAPPORO, Japan – The U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Team capped a successful world cup season at the World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Finals in Sapporo, Japan, securing six medals and an overall world cup title led by Oksana Masters (Louisville, Kentucky). With the final international medals of the season awarded, the team looks forward to the off-season to prepare for the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 next year.

Masters put the finishing touches on a stellar season, closing the event with a four medal-haul, including two gold, while also securing the world cup globe in women’s sitting cross-country on Saturday. Last week, Masters took four trips to the top of the podium, leading the way for Team USA at the PyeongChang test event. After claiming a record four world titles in Finsterau, Germany and a total of 13 world cup medals, she closes the season with a No. 1 ranking in women’s sitting cross-country and a No.3 ranking in biathlon for the overall world cup season.

“I feel like I had a pretty great season especially coming off training for a complete other sport that uses a complete opposite motion not too long ago,” said the three-time Paralympian. “I’m really happy with my season and my training; I feel extremely hopeful to have to good races in PyeongChang next year.

“It feels so good to hold on to that overall world cup title for cross-country and it feels so amazing to be ranked third overall in biathlon because that was one of my goals this season: To be in the top three.”

Jake Adicoff (Sun Valley, Idaho) and guide Sawyer Kesselheim (Bozeman, Montana) added two podium finishes for Team USA in Sapporo, taking gold in short-distance cross-country and silver in middle-distance cross-country. Adicoff will add these accolades to his impressive showing in PyeongChang, South Korea where he walked away with three medals, including two gold.

U.S. Army veteran Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas) finishes off a successful season with two world championship medals, one silver and one bronze, as well as three world cup podium finishes. He will look forward to PyeongChang as the No. 4 world ranked man in sitting cross-country and No. 6 In biathlon coming into 2018. Teammate Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota) finished just off the podium in Wednesday’s sprint-distance biathlon with a fourth-place finish and will end the world cup season with a silver medal in men’s sitting individual biathlon.

With the Sapporo world cup serving as the final international event of the 2016-17 season, the U.S. skiers will close their season at the U.S. Paralympics Biathlon National Championships in Casper Mountain, Wyoming. Competition will begin on April 1 and end on April 3.

Oksana Masters: women’s sitting cross-country

Team USA: 6

Oksana Masters (women’s sitting): middle-distance biathlon gold, middle-distance cross-country gold, short-distance cross-country silver, sprint-distance biathlon silver

Jake Adicoff and guide Sawyer Kesselheim (men’s visually impaired): short-distance cross-country gold, middle-distance cross-country silver

Full results of the world cup finals in Sapporo are available at the World Para Nordic Skiing website.