Wheelchair racer clinches marathon ‘Grand Slam’

BY Connie Kargbo  November 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM EST

Tatyana McFadden
Only a year after the New York City Marathon was cancelled due to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, thousands of fans gathered Sunday to cheer for runners in the 2013 New York competition. One racer that many people had their eye on was para-athlete, Tatyana McFadden. After taking the top position for the wheelchair event in Boston, London and Chicago in 2013, a win in New York would secure her as the first athlete ever to win four marathons in the same year.

For those who came out to support her, she did not disappoint, taking the first place title in the New York City wheelchair race and completing a marathon “Grand Slam.”

McFadden has come a long way. Born with a spinal defect and left at a Russian orphanage, she was later adopted by an American family and took up several sports. She currently attends the University of Illinois.

In a recent interview with NBC Nightly News McFadden expressed her next goal: Sochi 2014. It’s a professional goal, but also something that has personal ramifications. Last year, amidst a US-Russia political row, President Vladimir Putin, officially banned adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. For McFadden, Sochi 2014 would mean the opportunity to show in her words that she is, “a living success story” of adoption.