"It's not about what you don't have or what you lost, but what you can do with the gifts you are given." - Tatyana McFadden
Record Paralympic medalist, multi-world record holder, Nike athlete, and Team USA wheelchair racer, Tatyana "The Beast" McFadden, joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.
Born in Russia with a hole in her spine caused by spina bifida, Tatyana spent the first six years of her life in an orphanage. Six years without going to school, never using a wheelchair, and walking on her hands until Deborah McFadden, then Commissioner of Disabilities for the United States Department of Health, adopted her. Tatyana got her first wheelchair, and with her remarkable drive and determination, the rest is literally history.
She made her first Paralympic Games in 2004 at the age of 15 and, in 2013, went on to become the first human being to win the grand slam of marathons - Chicago, London, Boson, and New York City. Tatyana repeated that same grand slam victory tour in 2014, 2015, and 2016! In 2016, she broke the world records in 100, 400, 800, 1500, and 500 meters. The very next year in 2017, Tatyana survived a series of dangerous blood clots that nearly killed her and she believes that marathoning saved her life.
At the root of Tatyana's fierce competitive nature is her desire to live big, push limits, and grow. We all can learn a lot from Tatyana. Ya sama! (I can do it!)
TATYANA'S WORDS OF WISDOM
"Ya Sama!" (Translated from Russian: "I can do it.")
"Every child is perfect."
"Family. Faith. Sport. Giving Back."
"Finding something that you're really passionate about gives your life purpose."
"The days that are most difficult are the days we can learn from."
"When it's comes time for competition, it's GO time for me."
"We're educating society and it takes time."
"God has a plan for everything."
"It amazed me how quickly the community came together after the Boston Marathon bombing…I was grateful to be able to be a role model for a family and help tell them that it's not about what you don't have or what you lost, but what you can do with the gifts you are given."
TATYANA'S PROJECTS + CHARITABLE WORK
Tayana's book - Ya Sama!
New York Road Runners' Team For Kids - donates wheelchairs, equipment, and education for youth with physical disabilities
CONNECT WITH TATYANA
- SCOUT BASSETT, Team USA Track & Field Paralympian, American & World Record Holder, Nike Athlete
- BOB BABBITT, USA Triathlon and Ironman Halls of Fame, Co-Creator Challenged Athletes Foundation and Competitor Group
- APOLO OHNO, Record Winter Olympic Medalist
- SUMMER SANDERS, 2x Team USA Gold Medalist Swimmer
- ERIK SCHLOPY, 3x Olympic Alpine Skier