Ukrainian-born American Paralympic champion tells her incredible story
Rower and cross-country skier Oksana Masters tells Ukraine Today how sport has helped her to become comfortable with her body, as she returns to Ukraine for the first time since she left for the USA.
"I feel so excited to be here, where I am from and where my life began…I've always dreamed of coming back to Ukraine one day and being able to see it with adult eyes and learn my heritage," Oksana said, according to Ukraine Today.
Oksana was born with several radiation-induced limb defects and was abandoned by her birth parents at a Ukrainian orphanage where she lived until age 7. After she turned 7, Oksana was adopted by Gay Masters, an unmarried American speech therapy professor with no children of her own.
After winning rowing bronze at London 2012 Paralympic Games, Masters decided to swap her oars and the summer sun for ski poles and snow.
In 2013, she was named to the US Paralympics Nordic Skiing Development Team and eventually won bronze in the women's 5-kilometer sit ski cross-country race in Sochi 2014.
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