Tatyana McFadden21 April 1989 St. Petersburg, Russia
- LATEST TRIUMPHS:
- Rio 2016 - Gold: 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m T54; Silver: 100m, Marathon T54
- Sochi 2014 Paralympics - Silver: 1km cross-country sprint
- Lyon 2013 World Championships - Gold: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m
- London 2012 - Gold: 400, 800 and 1500m T54; Bronze: 100m T54
- Christchurch 2011 World Championships - Gold: 200m, 400m, 800m & 1,500m T54; Silver: 4x400m T53-54; Bronze: 100m T54
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- All That’s Left is Paralympic Gold for USA’s McFadden
McFadden is arguably the greatest wheelchair racer of all time.
Born with spina bifida in St Petersburg, Russia, McFadden was raised in an orphanage, where without a wheelchair, she was left to walk using her hands for the next six years.
In 1994, she was adopted by Debbie McFadden, who was working as the commissioner of disabilities for the USA’s health department, moved to the USA and took up Paralympic Sport to help regain her health.
Ten years after moving to the States, McFadden represented her newly adopted country at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. At just 15, and the youngest USA squad member, she won 100m silver (16.69) and 200m bronze (30.48).
Two years later at the 2006 World Championships, she won 100m (16.31) gold and silver medals in the 200m (29.25) and 400m (54.25).
In Beijing, she came up against Canada’s Chantal Petitclerc, an athlete in her prime who was determined to bow out on a high at her final Paralympic Games.
As a result of Petitclerc’s world record-breaking form, McFadden had to settle for silver in the 200m (28.43), 400m (53.49) and 800m (1:46.95) losing out to the Canadian in each of the races. She also picked up a bronze in the 4x100m T53-54 relay (1:02.16).
At the 2011 World Championships in New Zealand McFadden took top spot in the 200m (29.33), 400m (54.88), 800m (1:51.10) and 1,500m (3:36.20) – setting Championship records in the two longer distances – and also took silver in the 4x 400m relay (3:57.39) and 100m bronze (16.83).
In London, her third Games, she finally won Paralympic gold not once, but three times. She was top of the podium in the 400m (52.97) in a personal best time, 800m (1:47.01) and in the 1,500m (3:36.42). In the 100m she secured bronze (16.15).
In 2013 McFadden became the first athlete ever to complete a marathon Grand Slam – winning in Boston, London, New York and Chicago, a feat she repeated in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
At the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France, she made history winning six golds in the 100m (16.42), 200m (28.69), 400m (53.74), 800m (1:44.44), 1,500m (3:34.06) and 5,000m (12:08.07). She also broke Petitclerc’s 800m world record.
At the end of 2013, McFadden graduated from University and set herself a new target to qualify for the US Nordic skiing team for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
She not only made the team, but won a silver medal in the 1km cross-country sprint.
Soon after Sochi, McFadden returned to wheelchair racing, breaking the 1,500m world record to complete another successful year.
She missed the 2015 World Championships but still found time to set new world records in the 400m, 800m and 1,500m. She also won a Laureus Sports Award.
At the 2016 Rio Games, McFadden contested seven events, from the 100m through to the marathon, as well as the women’s 4x400m T53/54. She medalled in all six individual races, winning four golds (400m, 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m) and two silvers (100m, marathon).
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