Nordic Roundup: Oksana Masters Talks Gold-Medal Sweep
by Alex Abrams
Oksana Masters competes in the Slovenia world cup event.
Every other week we scour the web for the latest going on in the world of U.S. Para Nordic Skiing. Here’s what you missed!
Oksana Masters Sums Up Her Feelings After Gold-Medal Performance
Oksana Masters made competing earlier this month at the Slovenia world cup look easy, but she joked that it was actually exhausting.
Masters won a gold medal in all six of her events in Slovenia, where Team USA took part in its only world cup event of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Afterward, Masters posted a photo on Instagram of herself lying face-down on the snow with the comment, “This about sums it up of how I feel after racing 6 events in over a year.”
American teammate Kendall Gretschfinished right behind Mastersat the world cup, earning three silver medals in biathlon and two silvers and a bronze in cross-country skiing.
Masters and Gretsch can be seen racing around the course in footage that NBC Sports shared on Twitter.
Nothing but hardware for Americans @OksanaMasters and @KendallGretsch so far at the Para Nordic World Cup in Slovenia!
The duo has won medals in all 4 of their events to date, with all 4 gold for Masters. @USParaNordic @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/gp88I8xak3
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) March 9, 2021
Masters won’t take time to enjoy her performance, though. She wrote on Instagram that the “hard part” now begins as she quickly switches over from Para Nordic skiing to training for Para-cycling.
Masters is also an elite Para-cyclist and is considered a medal contender at this summer’s Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Masters finished fourth in the road race and fifth in the time trial at the 2016 Rio Games.
Kendall Gretsch Doesn’t Get Much Down Time
Things haven’t slowed down for Gretsch, even with the shortened world cup season.
She’s an elite paratriathlete, with three world championships to her name in addition to being a two-time Winter Paralympic gold medalist in cross-country skiing.
Gretsch told TeamUSA.org that she trained in the paratriathlon from March to mid-November. Once the winter came around, she resumed her training in cross-country skiing.
Gretsch is hoping to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games after winning a pair of gold medals in PyeongChang in 2018.
“I had this hair tie that I wore at the Games,” Gretsch told Paralympic.org. “It was silver and it had these little gold polka dots, and I would always tell myself that it was like dreaming of a silver medal with a little shot of gold."
Team USA Provides Motivation on Social Media
U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8 by postingphotos on Twitter of several Team USA members, including Masters and rising newcomer Dani Aravich.
The post included the comment, “Empowered women empower women.”
— U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing (@USParaNordic) March 8, 2021
Meanwhile, TeamUSA.org shared on Twitter how Grace Miller, who’s a member of the U.S. development team, found herself by attending the University of Alaska Anchorage.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) March 8, 2021
Around the Web
Oregon Adaptive Sports is challenging participants of its fourth annual Ski for All to cover more than 24 miles in 24 days. The event ends March 28.