Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and spent the first six years of her life in an orphanage. Due to a birth defect called spina bifida, she does not have the use of her legs and the orphanage did not provide her with a wheelchair. After her adoption by Clarksville resident Debbie McFadden, she developed her athletic skills and has competed in both the Athens and Beijing Paralympic Games. Now a college student, she is preparing for the London Games. (Sarah Pastrana, Patuxent Publishing / January 4, 2012)

Inspite of muggy, hot weather, Clarksville residents Tatyana and Hannah McFadden had a dazzling weekend at the London 2012 US Paralympic Track and Field trails, which were held in Indianapolis June 29-July 1.

Both have qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics, which will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 9 in London.

They have made history by becoming the first siblings to qualify for the Paralympics. At 16, Hannah McFadden will be the youngest member of the United States team. Tatyana made her Paralympics Games debut in 2004 at age 15.

Both McFaddens compete in the T54 classification. The T indicates track and the number indicates wheelchair athletes with various levels of spinal cord injuries or amputations.

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At the trials, Tatyana McFadden, an Atholton graduate, won the T54 100-meter (16.16), 400 (54.18), 800 (1:47.46) and was a close second in the combined T53/54 1,500 (3:22.41). The winner, a T53 athlete, was timed 3:22.37.

Hannah, a rising junior at Atholton, was third in the T54 100 (17.57) and sixth in the 400 (59.48). It is the 100 that is her ticket to London.

Tatyana, a student at the University of Illinois, has already qualified to compete in the marathon at the London Paralympics.

For the second year in a row Tatyana has been nominated for an ESPY Award as the Best Female Athlete with a Disability. Voting takes place online at http://espn.go.com/espys/ and ends July 9 at 11:59 p.m.