Oksana Masters was born in 1989 in what’s now Ukraine, and was then a part of the Soviet Union, three years after a reactor exploded on the Chernobyl plant, sparking the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe.
At start she had six toes on every foot, 5 webbed fingers on every hand and no thumbs, and her left leg was six inches (15cm) shorter than her proper.
Her household gave her up and he or she lived in three totally different orphanages till the age of seven, when she was adopted by an American girl and brought to the United States.
Because of the severity of her start defects, medical doctors determined to amputate each her legs, and he or she additionally had a number of rounds of reconstructive surgical procedure on her palms.
However regardless of her disabilities, Masters was decided to become involved in sports activities. In addition to snowboarding, she additionally competes in rowing, biathlon and biking.
“I really feel like I am cloud 9 proper now, I have been chasing this gold medal for such a very long time,” mentioned the 28-year-old.
“That is probably the most wonderful medal of my profession.”
Athletes with leg impairments compete in specifically tailored sledges in Paralympic snowboarding occasions.
Masters had already gained a silver in biathlon and a bronze in long-distance cross-country snowboarding on the Pyeongchang Paralympics.
She additionally gained silver and bronze medals on the 2014 Sochi Paralympics, and a bronze in rowing on the London 2012 Summer season Paralympics.
Masters mentioned she believed the darkish days of her childhood had helped her change into a champion athlete.
“I’m so blissful I’ve been capable of channel all of the issues that I went by way of once I was youthful and make them into one thing optimistic,” she mentioned.
The Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe occurred when a security take a look at went mistaken, inflicting an enormous explosion that despatched clouds of radioactive supplies floating over Europe.