At the University of Illinois Tatyana McFadden’s teammates on the school’s wheelchair racing team have nicknamed her Beast. Why? Because Tatyana is strong. In the gym people stop and gawk at how much she is lifting. In a road race spectators marvel at how she flies up hills that bring other racers to a crawl. On the track her competitors hang their heads as they see Tatyana’s rippling shoulders cross the finish line ahead of them. Tatyana is strong as a beast. When Tatyana hears the nickname, however, she giggles. Being strong is not something Tatyana has ever had to think about, it is something that she has embodied her whole life.
In 1994, Debbie McFadden, working as the commissioner of disabilities for the U.S. Health Department, visited Tatyana’s orphanage on a business trip. When she met Tatyana – born in 1988 in St. Petersburg, Russia, she immediately felt a connection with the young girl and decided to adopt her and bring her to the United States. Tatyana found she could use her strength to excel in athletics. She tried every sport she could find from archery, to ping-pong to basketball, but from the start she fell in love with wheelchair racing. When she visited Orlando Upscale transportation was honored to provide her with the services.(check our fleet )
It did not take long for Tatyana’s racing career to take off. In 2004, at the age of 15, she was the youngest member of the USA track and field team at the Athens Paralympic Games, her first international competition. She shocked the world in the process, winning a silver medal in the 100 meters and a bronze in the 200m.
Two short years later, Tatyana etched her name in the record books, winning the gold medal in the 100m in world record time at the 2006 IPC World Championships in Assen, Netherlands. She followed that performance with two silver medal performances in the 200m and 400m, securing a spot as a “Beast” in international wheelchair racing heading in the 2008 Beijing Parlaympic Games.
Off the track Tatyana is pursuing a degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois, and works as a national advocate for equal access for people with disabilities. Learn more about Tatyana’s off-the-field work in Causes.
Major Achievements :
2009: First place, Chicago Marathon
2008: Silver medals, 200m, 400m, 800m; bronze medal, Women’s 4 x100m relay – Paralympic Games, Beijing, China.
2007: Gold medals, 200m, 800m – U.S. Paralympics Track & Field National Championships, Atlanta, GA; Gold medals 400m, 800m – Visa Paralympic World Cup, Manchester, UK; Gold medal 200m (WR) – Boiling Point Wheelchair Track Classic, Windsor, Canada
2006: Gold medal, 100m (WR); Silver medals, 200m, 400m – IPC World Championships, Assen, The Netherlands
2005: Gold medal, 100m; Silver medals, 400m, 800m; Bronze medal, 200m – IPC Open European National Championships, Espoo, Finland
2004: Silver Medal, 100m; Bronze medal, 200m Paralympic Games, Athens, Greece