Our Tatyana McFadden biography is now live.
Tatyana McFadden is the wheelchair racer who is expected to compete for seven gold medals at this year’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janiero. She’ll be racing in everything from the 100 meters to the marathon; the mix of sprints and distance makes her pretty unusual for an athlete of any sort.
Tatyana McFadden’s story is compelling: born in Russia with spinal bifida and paralyzed below the waist, she was abandoned by her parents and lived in an orphanage until age 6. There she was spotted and adopted by an American visitor Deb McFadden, who had been the U.S. Commissioner of Disabilities under President George Bush the elder. McFadden and her partner, Bridget O’Shaughnessy, brought Tatyana home to Maryland.
The rest, as they say, is history. McFadden thrived in athletics, making her first U.S. Paralympic team for the 2004 games in Athens at age 15. Besides winning 10 medals in wheelchair racing at three Paralympic games (so far), she also dominates world wheelchair marathoning. She famously won four major marathons (London, Boston, Chicago and New York) in 2013, then repeated the same trick in 2014 and 2015.
As if that wasn’t enough, she took up cross-country skiing a few years ago and also made the U.S. Winter Paralympic team, winning a silver medal in the one-kilometer sprint in Sochi in 2014. Quite an athlete.
Here’s a sneak preview for the 2016 Paralympic Games: Tatyana McFadden leading wire-to-wire to win the 800 meters at the 2012 Games in London.
Now see our full biography of Tatyana McFadden »