Inspiring Story Of Oksana Masters: From Abandoned Baby With Severe Body Defects To Gold Medalist At The Paralympics
A hero is a person who never gives up fighting against the odds and overcomes their weaknesses every day despite the pain and strives for greatness. For sure, Oksana Masters can be called a true hero, as she is a great example of the power of will, hope, and determination. Just read her incredible story that proves our point.
Oksana Masters was born with significant defects in her body: lack of shinbones, webbed fingers, absent thumbs, only one kidney, and extremely small stomach. The girl was born in Ukraine back in 1989, so the doctors thought her defects were caused due to the mother’s exposure to radiation from Chernobyl. The parents left the girl at an orphanage, but fate had different plans for Oksana.
When Oksana was seven years old, an American professor, Gay Masters, saw her photo in an adoption publication and fell in love with her. The woman adopted the little, damaged girl and took her to the U.S.
Even more challenges ahead
Healthy and supporting environment and what’s more important healthy diet helped the girl grow stronger and develop as a normal kid. However, that didn’t last long. At the age of 9, Oksana’s one leg couldn’t support the increased body weight, thus causing excruciating pain. It had to be amputated. The second leg was amputated when the girl was 12.
Oksana was mentally at her lowest point, as her body struggled to heal itself. The girl was basically confined to her bed at the hospital for more than six months.
Bright times and success in sports
It was the love of sports that brought her back to life. The girl discovered adaptive rowing and became bewitched by it right away. Oksana recalls the horror she’s left behind:
My mom saved my life the first time around when she adopted me. In a way, getting my legs amputated made me realize my hunger for life and sports. Once you get past the tears, it motivates you to get out.
Oksana Masters made it to the professional level and even won her first U.S. Paralympic bronze medal in TA mixed double sculls with Rob Jones, her rowing partner, in 2012. In a matter of one year, though, Oksana switched to downhill skiing, and after just 14 months of training, she won her first medals. Moreover, the girl was even named to the U.S. Nordic skiing team for the 2014 Winter Paralympics.
Oksana finally made it double golden during the 2018 Winter Paralympics by winning two gold medals in the cross-country skiing women’s 1.5 km and 5 km sprints.
It took 4 Paralympic Games to get my first GOLD and today is officially the LAST day to get your votes in for @teamusa #teamusaawards. There are so many deserving and talented athletes nominated. Please take a second to get your last votes in for #FemaleParalympicAthleteOfGames link is in my bio @usparalympics🙏🏼💕
There’s always a place for good times, no matter how bad it can be right now. Thank you, Oksana Masters, for your steel willpower!