Women changing the World Series: Oksana Masters


Tom Pennington

IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 12: Oksana Masters of Team United States poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic shoot on September 12, 2021 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA)

Showayane Wallace

Being born with numerous birth defects caused by radiation in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ukrainian born Oksana Masters, has transformed herself into a multi-sport athlete who inspires those with and without disabilities.

After being abandoned by her parents shortly after birth, the now 32-year-old was adopted by Gay Masters, an American speech therapy professor, who introduced her to rowing at 13, shortly before her second leg amputation.

The moment I got into that boat, everything changed,” she says, “I was able to throw all of my anger, all of my fear, into it.”

Oksana Masters is now a 10-time summer and winter Paralympic medalist, a model and an advocate for those with disabilities.

This should be a reminder that your disability or obstacles in life  should not discourage you from achieving your goal.