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Oksana Masters’ Gold-Medal Sweep Highlights U.S. Performance At Para Nordic World Cup

by Todd Kortemeier

Oksana Masters competes at the World Para Nordic World Cup event in Planica, Slovenia. 

 

Para Nordic world cup season is now over after one event for Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch, but they made the most of it.
The Paralympic gold medalists won medals in all six events they entered in cross-country skiing and biathlon at the world cup in Planica, Slovenia, but it was Masters that got the better of her U.S. teammate. Masters had a clean sweep of gold medals, winning three in cross-country and three in biathlon. Gretsch earned three silver medals in biathlon plus two silver and one bronze in cross-country. 
While this was the opener of the world cup season, it’ll be the last event for Masters and Gretsch as they transition over to training for their summer sports as qualification for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 approaches. Gretsch also competes in paratriathlon while Masters competes in Para-cycling and has previously competed in rowing. Despite the abbreviated season, both racers were excited to get back on snow after such a long time off due to the pandemic.
“Everyone is so used to racing so often, so a year off feels extra-long,” Gretsch said to World Para Nordic skiing. “There were a few extra nerves beforehand because you don’t really know what to expect.”
In all, eight members of Team USA competed in the world cup including national team members Dan Cnossen, Gretsch, Masters and Ruslan Reiter plus Danielle Aravich, Lera Doederlein, Max Nelson and Drew Shea. Aravich finished just off the podium in two cross-country races.


Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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