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2014 Winter Paralympics

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden

I’ve never competed in a marathon. To be honest, even the idea of it sounds daunting. So to me, the fact that in 2013 Tatyana McFadden won the women's wheelchair divisions of the Boston, Chicago, London, and New York City marathons is downright jaw dropping.

The first time I met Tatyana, Tribune reporter Colleen Mastony and I had traveled to see her training for the 2014 winter Paralympics in Sochi at the University of Illinois. Though she had competed in the Paralympics before, these games were special.

Tatyana was born in St. Petersburg, Russia with spina bifida and lived the first six years of her life in an orphanage too poor to buy her a wheelchair. She got...