[From the NY Times;] Tatyana McFadden, a 24-year-old college senior, was born with spina bifida, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. She is now a decorated wheelchair sprinter, and she has 12 medals — three gold — from the last three Paralympic Games, in Athens, Beijing and London.
McFadden grew up in an orphanage in St. Petersburg, where she was never given a wheelchair. She spent her first six years walking on her hands before Deborah McFadden, then the director of the International Children’s Alliance, adopted her during an overseas trip. After taking to sports in her childhood, Tatyana McFadden fought through the courts in high school in Maryland to compete against able-bodied runners.
Her mother says that when Tatyana arrived from Russia, she used a phrase that meant “I can do it myself. And that’s just what she’s done. She’s never been afraid to try anything.”
McFadden has become the preeminent wheelchair marathoner and hopes to.... Tatyana was featured in an inspirational article in the NY Times on October 11, 2013.