A Woman, a Wheelchair, & Lots of Sports
As an athletic woman, her wheelchair is only an excuse to go faster. Now one of the most famous female athletes conquering the Paralympics Games and various marathons including the London and NYC Marathon, Tatyana McFadden shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.
Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability such as Tatyana's Spina Bifida. The specialized wheelchairs can allow the professional athletes to reach speeds of 30 km/h or more.
Wheelchair Racing and The Paralympics
The main competitions for wheelchair races take place at the Summer Paralympics which wheelchair racing and athletics has been a part of since 1960. It is one of the most prominent forms of Paralympic athletics. The distances involved in Paralympic wheelchair racing include sprint distances of 100 m, 200 m and 400 m, middle distances of 800 m and 1500 m, long distances of 5000 m and 10,000 m and relay races of 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m. Tatyana also has participated in Paralympic skiing.
At age 15, Tatyana made her Paralympic debut in Athens. She was the youngest member of Team USA. In her professional athletic career to date, she has won 11 Paralympic medals.
Marathon Training and Winning
In 2009, Tatyana decided to train for marathons circuit immediately won the Chicago Marathon.
Since then, Tatyana has become the first man or woman, able-bodied or disabled, to win 4 major marathons in both 2013 and 2014 - two Grand Slams in a row.
When she isn't training for an upcoming marathon or race, Tatyana stays involved in other wheelchair sports such as basketball. No surprise, this seriously athletic woman plays to win for the love of the game.