OKSANA MASTERS: THE HARD PARTS
by Tom Kelly
One of the most successful winter Paralympic athletes with nine cross country and five biathlon Olympic medals, Team USA's Oksana Masters has documented her remarkable story in a gripping new book from Simon & Schuster: The Hard Parts: A Memoir of Courage and Triumph. In her Heartbeat interview she dives deep into her emotional story
An injury has kept Masters sidelined this season, so she'll be cheering her teammates from afar at the Para Nordic World Cup Finals at the 2002 Paralympic venue of Soldier Hollow March 1-8.
Born in Ukraine amidst the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, life had a rugged start for Masters. A range of birth defects caused her family to put her in an orphanage, where endured horrifying abuse. At age seven, she was adopted by an American woman, eventually undergoing surgery after surgery. Today, she is a well respected athlete and advocate for Para sport.
Her story is a real testament to perseverance. She found rowing to help her build strength following the surgeries, winning a medal in the 2012 London Paralympics. Then she found nordic sport and began her medals collection at Sochi in 2014. Today, her sights are squarely set on the 2026 Paralympics in Milan/Cortina.
The Hard Parts: A Memoir of Courage and Triumph is available now wherever books are sold.