Saturday, November 5, 2011
Tatyana McFadden outraces fate
By Sarah Wassner Flynn
Tatyana McFadden is not supposed to be here.
She is not supposed to be one of the world's most decorated wheelchair racers. Nor the youngest-ever member of the U.S. Paralympic track and field team. Nor a multi-time medalist at the world championships and winner of three major marathons.
McFadden isn't even supposed to be alive.
But McFadden isn't big on letting perceived obstacles define her destiny. Paralyzed from the waist down after being born with spina bifida and abandoned as an infant at a Russian orphanage, McFadden taught herself to walk around on her hands. There was no access to a wheelchair. In 1994, at the age of 6, she charmed an unsuspecting American visitor, who eventually adopted her. But despite a new start and a new life, there were still struggles to face.