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Para-cycling Roundup: Oksana Masters To Take Part In Women’s Sports Foundation Salute To Women’s Sports And More

By Chrös McDougall | Oct. 14, 2020, 3:14 p.m. (ET)

Oksana Masters competes in the Women's Road Race H5 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Some of the biggest names in women’s sports are coming together this week for what Oksana Masters is calling “the biggest night in women’s sports.”

Masters, a four-time U.S. Paralympian including in 2016 as a road cyclist, is listed as one of the featured athletes for Wednesday’s Salute to Women in Sports, an annual fundraiser put on by the Women’s Sports Foundation. For the first time, this year’s event will be available on a free broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. EST via Yahoo Sports.

The event raises money to support girls and women in sports. An online auction runs through Oct. 22 at charitybuzz.com/WSF.



“The evening will support All girls. All women. All sports,” Masters tweeted this week.

Masters has won eight Paralympic medals, including two gold medals, while competing across biathlon, cross-country skiing, road cycling and rowing. At the 2019 road cycling world championships she won silver medals in both the road race and the time trial.

Among the other U.S. Paralympian listed on the program are Jessica Long, Dana Mathewson, Tatyana McFadden and Alana Nichols. Former boxing world champion turned fitness and wellness advocate Laila Ali is hosting the event, which this year will highlight athletes who have used their voices to promote equality and social justice.

Sanchez Baby Continues To Delight



Oscar “Oz” Sanchez and partner Jenny Nominni are still over the moon after the birth of their son Benicio last month.

“Guess who just entered parenthood for their first time,” he wrote to Instagram on Sept. 16, adding a lovestruck emoji. “Jenny and I had a 6.8 lb baby boy—Benicio. He’s had to spend his first two nights in NICU but is finally recovering from his blood anomaly and doing well. Both he and mom will be in recovery for the rest of the week before headed home this weekend 😇🙌🏽 A new journey begins.”

On Oct. 10, the three-time Paralympian and six-time Paralympic medalist shared an update of baby Benicio at 3.5 weeks, with the little fella fast asleep but with a thoughtful look on his face. 

Fittingly, Sanchez hashtagged the shot: #Serene

PSA: People In Wheelchairs Don’t Necessarily Need Help

Sometimes people see a person in a wheelchair and jump to conclusions.

Two-time Paralympian Travis Gaertner, a member of the U.S. Paralympics Cycling National A team, has some simple advice should you see someone in a wheelchair lugging around heavy bags at an airport.



“Do people in wheelchairs need help with their bags?” he asked in an Oct. 2 Instagram post. “Sometimes but not always.”

Gaertner laid out one scenario from 2004, when he was headed to his second Paralympic Games as a member of Canada’s wheelchair basketball team. When he arrived at the Chicago airport to catch his flight to Athens, he had with him quite the haul.

“Backpack, suitcase on lap, basketball chair, hockey bag of clothes on chair, spare basketball chair on top of bag,” he wrote.

That didn’t necessarily mean he needed anyone’s help, though.

“If you see a disabled person and want to help, don’t assume they need it,” Gaertner said. “Ask if they need help in general, not specifically as that could close the conversation quickly.”

As for that trip to Athens? Worth it, as Gaertner came home with his second consecutive Paralympic gold medal.

Virginia Club Sportable Adds Cycling Team 

Sportable, an adaptive sports club based in Richmond, Virginia, debuted its competitive cycling team, the Road Warriors, earlier this month.

Head coach Lucille O’Neil leads a team of 10 cyclists who will compete locally and regionally beginning in 2021.

“During the five years I have worked with Sportable’s recreational cycling program, I could see a competitive spark in some of these amazing athletes,” O’Neil said in a press release, adding, “Developing a race team was a natural progression. I am thrilled with the hard work and progress these cyclists have already made, and know they are race ready, whenever races can resume.”

Sportable was founded in 2005 as a sports club for athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairments, and it works with more than 400 athletes through its competitive and rec programs. The Road Warriors become the Sportable’s sixth competitive team, joining those in wheelchair lacrosse, soccer, wheelchair rugby, and adult and youth wheelchair basketball.

Virtual Time Trial Series Continues

With more in-person races on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Swift Para-cycling Virtual Time Trial Series, hosted by U.S. Paralympics Cycling, continues to give athletes a venue to scratch that competitive itch. Races take place each Thursday, with latest virtual time trial being held on Oct. 8.

Open to athletes around the world, and of all classifications, the race took place on the 17.5-kilometer Swift Tempus Fugit course. Full results are available on Zwift.

Chrös McDougall

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 and is a contributor to USParaCycling.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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