www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/sports/sidelines-blog/bal-paralympians-deserve-equal-treatment-20120908,0,6980276.story

baltimoresun.com

Paralympics

Paralympians deserve equal treatment

By Carol Gralia, cgralia@patuxent.com

11:58 AM EDT, September 8, 2012

Advertisement

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London a few weeks ago, the media was all abuzz about Michael Phelps.

You know, the swimmer from Baltimore. The guy, who became the all-time medal winningest Olympic athlete, did deserve attention.

But if Michael looked both ways to cross a street in London, there was a story. A big story.

There are some other Baltimore-area athletes in London now and they are representing our city, state and country exceptionally well. Swimmer Jessica Long, who grew up in Middle River, is one, but nearer and dearer to Howard County are Tatyana and Hannah McFadden.

They are the first two siblings to compete in the same Paralympics. This is Tatyana’s third Games and Hannah’s first.

Tatyana has been panning gold like a gold miner. She’s already won the 400, 800 and 1,500, and later today she’ll try for the gold in the 100 (competing against her sister).

Then she’ll follow that up with a marathon tomorrow. Whew!

So where are the stories on how she trains, how she chills out, what she eats for breakfast or how she crosses the street?

I’ve read that Baltimore is honoring Phelps and Maryland’s other Olympians and Paralympians in a ceremony, complete with Gov. Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore County Executive Ken Kamenetz. The event will be held Sept. 10 in the Inner Harbor at 4 p.m.

Will the Paralympians, like Tatyana and her sister, even have time to get back here for it or will they be honored in absentia?

If they don’t make it back in time, maybe Ken Ulman, our county executive, can honor them at a gathering at the base of Columbia’s People Tree. Columbia, after all, was built with diversity in mind.