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Paralympic Athlete Tatyana McFadden Makes History | The Champion Within

Paralympic Athlete Tatyana McFadden Makes History | The Champion Within


when I first came over to the United
States every time that my mom would try to help me with anything I
would say yaşama and I just kind of meant like go away I can do it and I
can do it myself I think that attitude has brought me to
where I am today Tatyana McFadden developed that on the floor of a Russian
orphanage born in St. Petersburg with spina bifida and paralyzed from the
waist down for six years she was deprived of an
essential need I had no idea what a wheelchair was they didn’t have
wheelchairs at the orphanage I taught myself how to walk on my hands
using my arms as my legs in 1995 the US commissioner of disabilities
Deborah McFadden visited the orphanage and immediately connected with the
six-year-old lots of people come in and out of the orphanage just wanting to
adopt other kids but never a child with a disability I looked at her and it was
just that connection I told everyone at the orphanage that was going to be my
mom after that my life changed drastically told by doctors that she
would not live long Deborah and her partner Bridget O’Shaughnessey enrolled
her in sports to build her strength I tried every single sport
I tried swimming ice hockey downhill skiing basketball and then finally
wheelchair racing I don’t know if it was the need for speed at the age of seven
but I knew that wheelchair racing was a sport for me McFadden chose well as she is now one of the most dominant athletes in the world with ten medals and three Paralympics
Summer Games and she’s become a Paralympic star but her success didn’t
stop there in 2013 McFadden became the first racer
able-bodied or otherwise to win all four major marathons in a calendar year the
feat she has now achieved for three consecutive years and is already halfway
to her fourth they call her a beast because she is so so strong domination
is the word that could best describe her in the midst of her marathon success
McFadden picked up cross-country skiing hoping to compete in front of her birth
family at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in her birth country Russia my dream was to
have my birth family and my adoptive family at one competition the birth
family who gave her up with the hopes of a better future for her got to see
McFadden return to Russia as an elite athlete skiing to the starting line and
seeing my birth mom and my American parents it was the most fulfilling
experience ever it’s absolutely wonderful it’s a moment
that I’ve always dreamed of and so I’m just gonna cherish it forever what made me the person now that I am today is the attitude I’ve always had ever since I
was living in the orphanage whatever I set my mind to I can do it

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