Harry How/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Oksana Masters & Aaron Pike Are Dating & Their Love Story Shows Us You Really Can Do It All

By
Ad failed to load

Oksana Masters and Aaron Pike are many things. Most notably, they are three-time Paralympians currently preparing for PyeongChang 2018. They are also Nordic skiers, avid coffee drinkers, and Masters and Pike happen to be dating.

“You have your best friend, your partner, and then you have your training buddy,” Pike tells me in an interview for Elite Daily. "You both hold each other accountable. You kind of rub off on each other, and motivate each other in different ways."

As I sat at my desk, crossing my fingers that our scheduled Skype call would connect — the pair is currently at a training camp with little internet service — I reviewed my notes. I marveled at Masters' and Pike's ability to maintain a romantic relationship while accomplishing so much in the world of adaptive sports. (I can't even manage a relationship sans the pressure of competing in a world class athletic event.)

Ad failed to load

28-year-old Masters, a three-sport athlete, was born in Ukraine, where both of her legs were damaged in-utero from radiation poisoning due to the Chernobyl incident. She was adopted at age seven, began rowing at age 13, and brought home a bronze medal from her first appearance on Team USA at the Paralympic Games London 2012. In 2014, she earned bronze and silver medals in Nordic skiing from Sochi, and has been nominated for two ESPYs.

Pike, 31, learned about adaptive sports after suffering a T-11 spinal cord injury from a hunting accident when he was 13. Pike's first Paralympic games appearance was in London 2012, where he competed in wheelchair track and field. Pike started training in Nordic skiing after the London games, and in his debut season on the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Team, he finished in the top 15 three times in the world cup competition, before heading to Sochi.

Harry How/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

As our Skype call connected, I was greeted by two warm voices. I could immediately detect their sweet chemistry. My first (albeit millennial) impulse was to ask the pair how they met, as I had always heard juicy rumors of Olympic village hookups and free condom stations. Was this an instance of a hookup turned happy ever after?

Masters admits, "That's definitely going on for sure. I’m sure there are walk of shames going on, from one athlete house to another" — but that's not her and Pike's story. The pair began their relationship as teammates and friends at a training camp leading up to the Sochi games. “Aaron has a funny way of showing that he likes someone too, like I would ski by and he would just start to push my arm or push me down, tiny little things," says Masters. (Adorable.)

Ad failed to load

Prior to speaking with the couple, I imagined dating someone while training morning, noon, and night for the Paralympic Games would be virtually impossible. However, Pike explains "It’s almost easier that we’re both doing something similar. You know what each other’s going through."

Masters says that athletes dating non-athletes can be more difficult, "It’s hard to understand the athlete’s lifestyle. You literally eat, sleep, train. You go to training camps in the winter where there is no internet, you can’t make phone calls." While the pair sees each other often during the winter, in the summer, they are on different schedules. "But I'm not like 'Why aren’t you answering my texts? Why are you ignoring me? What’s going on?'" Masters adds. "I get it."

Another perk of competing on the same team as your SO? "I don’t think too many people get to say that they’ve walked in together, representing their country at the Opening Ceremony," notes Pike. "You look over, and there’s your significant other, standing right there experiencing the exact same thing [as you]. That’s a pretty cool, unique thing." Again, I can't imagine walking into the Opening Ceremony stadium, let alone doing it with a person I love.

Ad failed to load

Masters did note that there is sometimes public confusion around what the Paralympics are. The Paralympic Games are held at the same venue as the Olympics and utilize the exact same Olympic Village. "I didn't find out I could compete in the Paralympics until I was 16, and to be in the same village where some of your idols competed is a really cool thing," says Masters. The Paralympics take place just after the Olympics, so "you get to see it happen before you jump in yourself," adds Pike. "You get fired up."

But in terms of misconceptions about their relationship? Masters and Pike say they haven't spent that much time thinking about what two Paralympians dating looks like to an outsider. "It’s no different," says Masters. "You know, 'love is love'. I love Aaron for who he is and how he makes me laugh." And on that note, I have officially found my new #relationshipgoals.

Ad failed to load

You can cheer on Masters, Pike, and the rest of Team USA when the PyeongChang Paralympic Games begin on March 9.

Learn more at Teamusa.org. The Winter Olympics begin Feb. 8.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Here's Everything That's Leaving Netflix In June

Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of opportunity to binge watch more movies and TV shows that we never knew we needed in our lives. May has passed by in a blink of an eye, so I definitely need to catch up on what Netflix is getting rid of afte…
By Kristen Perrone

Cherry Print Is One Of Summer's Biggest Fashion Trends & It's So Much Sweeter Than Florals

If there's one thing that I've had my eye on this summer it's a cool, flirty cherry-print dress. Along with versatile black tops and blue denim, the color red has become a staple in my wardrobe this year and anytime I can infuse it into my daily look…
By Ariana Marsh

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Your World Is About To Be Filled With Sunshine

If you've had enough of the sleepy and heavy feeling associated with Taurus season, prepare yourself for a replenishing rush of fresh energy. As of May 20, the sun has officially moved into Gemini, and the weight on your shoulders will finally start …
By Roya Backlund

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett

7 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Life By The Time You Hit 30

Nobody has all of the answers in life, but you're probably pretty proud of yourself for how far you've come. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the hang of adulting and began to appreciate the unexpected things that come with being 20-something.…
By Marisa Casciano
)}