Oksana Masters Wins First Para-Cycling World Title
by Luke Hanlon
Oksana Masters poses for a photo at the 2022 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships on Aug. 11, 2022 in Baie-Comeau, Canada.
Not many days go by, it seems, when Oksana Masters doesn’t break new ground.
Across three sports, the 33-year-old has competed in six Paralympics, winning 17 medals. She’s also competed at seven world championships as a cyclist or Nordic skier, winning 22 medals.
With her performance at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in March, she became the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian of all time.
And earlier this summer, she became the first Para athlete to be nominated for one of the main “Best Athlete” awards at the ESPYS.
One of the few things the Louisville, Kentucky, native had never done before was win a gold medal at the Para-cycling world championships.
That changed on Thursday, as Masters took first place in the women’s time trial H5 at the 2022 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.
Masters finished the 18.9-kilometer time trial in 33 minutes, 35.05 seconds, over two minutes faster than runner-up Ana Maria Vitelaru of Italy.
This is the fourth Para-cycling world championships medal of Masters’ career, adding to a bronze in road race in 2015 and silvers in time trial and road race in 2019. It also secures perhaps last the major accomplishment missing from her resume. She won her first summer Paralympic gold medals as a cyclist last year when she swept the time trial and road race at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Along with adding another gold medal to her vast collection — she has 11 other world titles in Nordic skiing, as well as seven Paralympic golds — Masters will also receive a rainbow jersey, which every world champion cyclist has been awarded since 1922. She can wear it for the next year in time trial races, and she’ll have rainbow stripes on her sleeve for the rest of her UCI career.
Also taking home a world title on Thursday was Kate Brim. The 23-year-old Lowell, Michigan, native won the women’s time trial H2 with a time of 20:46. That was nearly four minutes faster than second-place Roberta Amadeo of Italy.
Brim is coming off wins in the time trial and road race in her world cup debut last week in Quebec City, Quebec.
The world championships continue in Baie-Comeau through Sunday, with more time trial races and all road races still to be completed.