Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch celebrating winning gold and silver in the women's 15-kilometer sitting cross country race during the World Para Snow Sports Championships on Jan. 18, 2022 in Lillehammer, Norway.
Oksana Masters held up her gold medal, and Kendall Gretsch smiled as she showed off her silver. Jake Adicoff and Sydney Peterson also celebrated after they earned a pair of bronzes.
Four American Para Nordic skiers competed Tuesday at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway, and all four of them made the podium.
Masters got off to a fast start and never trailed as she cruised to her first gold in Lillehammer with a time of 46 minutes, 45.2 seconds in the women’s sitting cross-country long-distance race.
Gretsch, who had already earned two golds in the biathlon at the world championships, took the silver in 47:54.9.
“There aren’t a lot of places to get speed on this course,” Masters told U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing. “I’m an athlete that likes to climb. That’s where I count on speed. I just wanted to ski it smooth and keep it consistent from start to finish and just capitalize where those opportunities were to find speed.”
It was the 10th world title for Masters, who’s a 10-time Paralympic medalist in Nordic skiing, cycling and rowing. She and Gretsch have accounted for six of the 10 medals earned by U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing in Lillehammer.
“It’s absolutely incredible. It feels like yesterday where I was that new athlete never thinking that I would be a world championship athlete,” Masters said. “So, to have 10 now ... is incredible and it’s a testament to our team’s hard work. It’s not just me, it’s the whole team.”