Tatyana McFadden prefers the climbs. On Monday, she fell behind early at the 120th Boston Marathon because, as she told reporters, “I’m like grandma going downhill.” But McFadden separated herself on the hills and went on to win her fourth straight women’s wheelchair title at the famed marathon.
McFadden, who turns 27 on Thursday, is likely the best athlete you’ve never heard of. She is gunning for her fourth straight wheelchair marathon grand slam – Boston, London, Chicago and New York.
But she is also training for the 2016 Paralympics with a lofty goal – to win seven medals over 10 days. If she achieves that, McFadden would sweep every distance from the 100-meters to the marathon. Just attempting that feat is impressive. The preparation for a sprint race versus a marathon is different, not to mention the physiology and psychology. Yet, McFadden seems specially built to undertake the task.
Perhaps, too, her quest will help bring Paralympic sports more into the mainstream, highlighting the athletic achievement and not just the human interest story.