"Oksana Masters was born in Ukraine—in the shadow of Chernobyl—seemingly with the world against her. She was born with one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers, no right bicep, and no thumbs. Her left leg was six inches shorter than her right, and she was missing both tibias.
"Relinquished to the orphanage system by birth parents daunted by the staggering cost of what would be their child’s medical care, Oksana encountered numerous abuses, some horrifying. Salvation came at age seven when Gay Masters waged a two-year war against stubborn adoption authorities to rescue Oksana from her circumstances.
"In America, Oksana endured years of operations that included a double leg amputation. Determined to prove herself and fueled by a drive to succeed that still smoldered from childhood, Oksana triumphed in not just one sport but four—winning against the world’s best in elite rowing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, and road cycling competitions. Now considered one of the world’s top athletes, she is the recipient of seventeen Paralympic medals, the most of any US athlete of the Winter Games, Paralympic or Olympic.
"This is Oksana’s astonishing story of journeying through a series of dark tunnels—and how, with her mother’s love, she finally found her way into the light. Her message to anyone who doesn’t fit in: you can find a place where you excel—where you have worth."
Wow! This is one of the best books I've read this year. Oksana's story is both riveting and moving. I cried for her because of all the hard things she had to endure, and I cheered all of her breakthroughs and successes. She has such tenacity and grit and determination; I really admire her fire to win and her never-give-up attitude.
"Ugly things happened to me. They. Are. Not. Me. No matter how ugly I feel, how much I hate my body, how much I hate my memories, I'm still worthy of love. Of a good life. This is what I wish everyone who's experienced physical or emotional trauma could grasp: You are not the product of where you came from. You are not what happened to you...there's beauty in you."
This amazing and emotional book is truly a memoir of courage and triumph! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐