Congratulations to Tatyana McFadden, who today won the Boston Marathon, Women’s Wheelchair Division, for the second year in a row!
Last year, Tatyana won not only the Boston marathon, but also the New York City, Chicago, and London marathons. Plus she participated in the Sochi Olympics, where she won a silver medal in Nordic skiing. So incredible.
Tatyana’s story is inspiring. A brief biography: She was born in Russia in 1988 with a condition called spina bifida. If children with spina bifida have surgery right away, the condition is usually not life-threatening. Tatyana had surgery at 21 days old: it’s a sign of her resiliency and inner strength that she survived. After surgery, she was placed in an orphanage where a wheelchair was not even a possibility. Tatyana learned to use her arms as legs and walk on her hands to move. Her mom, Deb McFadden, met Tatyana in the orphanage in 1994, and Tatyana came to the United States at 6 years old.
Deb is a longtime friend of mine, and I love her and her 3 daughters, all adopted, all active talented girls. Tatyana has participated in many sports, focusing on wheelchair racing. In 2004, she was the youngest member (15 years old) of the USA track team at the Athens Paralympic Games, winning a silver and bronze. Since then, she’s won many world competitions, including being the first person to win 4 major marathons in one year.
Resiliency, strength, perseverance, joy, faith, determination: Tatyana has it all. She’s a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. She gives much time and energy to charity work, with other athletes and for children.
She is power personified, combined with elegance, enthusiasm, and warmth. Congratulations for yet another amazing accomplishment, Tatyana.