A Paralympic Preview - Oksana Masters

When the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster happened in April of 1986, no one alive at the time could imagine the catastrophic consequences for the lives of as yet unborn children that would continue for decades after the event. And though all the stories of affected children are worth sharing, one in particular stands out as we start the 2018 Paralympics!



Born in the Ukraine three years after the Chernobyl Disaster, Oksana Masters had significant birth defects including six toes on each foot, five webbed fingers on each hand and no thumbs. In addition, her left leg was six inches shorter than her right and both legs were missing shin bones. After living in three different orphanages, she was adopted at the age of 7 by Gay Masters, an American university professor with no children of her own. Eventually, both of Oksana's legs were amputated above the knee—her left at age 9 and the right at 14. Both hands also had extensive reconstructive surgeries.

At age 13, Oksana became interested in rowing after she found a sense of freedom while on the water. In 2011 she joined the Para-rowing team in 2011 and went on to win a bronze medal in rowing at Paralympic Games London 2012. After an injury that prevented her from rowing, Oksana learned to ski and qualified for the Nordic Skiing Team at the 2014 U.S. Paralympics in Sochi, Russia. She brought home silver and bronze medals that year. But three medals in two very different events were not enough for this amazing athlete. In 2016 she competed in the Paralympics in Rio and earned a 4th and 6th place finish in hand-cycling. Currently she is pursuing another Paralympic Medal in Nordic Skiing at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang. Keep an eye on her, as she hopes to bring home a gold!

If you are looking to bring home the gold through a new job, maybe NTI can help through their job-services.  If you are on SSI or SSDI and are looking for work, register for NTI's services at goo.gl/rvTwRx

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