U.S. Paralympics Nor... Features Nordic Roundup: Oksa...

Nordic Roundup: Oksana Masters To Be Featured In Kentucky Museum, And More

By Chrös McDougall | Oct. 14, 2020, 8 a.m. (ET)

Oksana Masters To Be Featured In Kentucky Museum

Oksana Masters has long since traded in her rowing oars for ski poles, but her first foray into Paralympic sport will be on display at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky.

The museum’s “Cool Kentucky” exhibit will highlight the state’s people, culture, music and more, according to a story on local TV station WDRB’s website. Among the items on display when the exhibit opens this fall will be one of Masters’ oars and medals.

Born in Ukraine, Masters was adopted at age 3 by a woman in Buffalo, New York, and 10 years later they moved to Louisville. Masters, whose legs were amputated as the result of birth defects, discovered rowing at age 13, and at the Paralympic Games London 2012 she teamed with Rob Jones to win a bronze medal in the truck and arms mixed double skulls.

That began one of the generation’s most accomplished Para sport careers, as Masters soon transitioned to Nordic skiing and hand cycling. Over two Paralympic Winter Games as a skier, Masters has won two gold medals as well as three silver and three bronze medals. She finished just off the podium in 2016 in the road cycling road race and time trial.

Masters is one of three athletes on the 2020-21 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National A Team, along with Dan Cnossen and Kendall Gretsch. At the 2019 world championships she won five titles and six medals competing in both cross-country skiing and biathlon. The 2020 biathlon world championships were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Masters Helps Bring Attention To WSF Annual Salute To Women In Sports

This year’s Women’s Sports Foundation Salute to Women in Sports will be broadcast free for the first time on Wednesday, and Oksana Masters is among several featured athletes helping spread the word.

The WSF’s annual Salute, which airs at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday on Yahoo Sports, raises money to support girls and women in sports. This year’s show, hosted by former boxing world champion Laila Ali, will highlight athletes who have used their voices to promote equality and social justice.

People can help support the cause through an online auction that runs through Oct. 22 at charitybuzz.com/WSF.

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

Aaron Pike: A Paralympian Made At The U Of Illinois

Athletes don’t reach the top without hours put in behind the scenes. For many athletes in the U.S., many of those hours come as part of intercollegiate programs.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s “Paralympian Made Here” campaign aims to bring awareness to the collegiate programs that support adaptive sports. Pike, a four-time Paralympian who competes in Nordic skiing and wheelchair marathon, took his next steps as an athlete as part of the esteemed program at the University of Illinois, a fact he highlighted in an Instagram post Tuesday.

“Without @IlliniAthletics and @illiniwca, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” he wrote, tagging the school’s main intercollegiate athletics account as well as that of Illinois Wheelchair Athletics. “Thank you for helping me travel the world though competition and see how hard work and determination leads to endless possibilities.”

Pike is a member of the 2020-21 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National B Team.


Cnossen Honored By Local Newspaper

Two-time Paralympian Dan Cnossen was honored as one of the greatest athletes to come from Shawnee County in Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal unveiled an updated list of its top 125 athletes to come from the northeast Kansas county, and Cnossen came in at No. 51. An Aug. 22 story highlighted Cnossen’s six medals from the 2018 Paralympics, including a gold in biathlon.

Social Media Spotlight

Grace Miller, a 2018 Paralympian who is on the 2020-21 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Development Team, celebrated the last few days of being 20 in a field full of sunflowers. Two days later on Sept. 29 she turned 21, celebrating with friends at a Mexican restaurant.



A post shared by Grace Miller (@gracemillerak) on

Chrös McDougall

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

Related Athletes

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Oksana Masters

Nordic Skiing
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Aaron Pike

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Track and Field
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Dan Cnossen

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US Paralympics
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Grace Miller

Nordic Skiing