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Md. Paralympian Is Up For ESPY Award

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Tatyana McFadden
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The ESPY Awards are just a few days away and one Maryland athlete is hoping to bring enough votes to take home an award.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on Paralympian Tatyana McFadden and her fourth nomination.

At her home in Clarksville, Paralympian Tatyana McFadden shares with WJZ just a token of her accomplishments.

“This one is from Sochi for cross-country sprint,” she said.

It was in Russia—her birthplace—where the rookie US skier would make a stunning performance, winning the silver medal in the cross country sprint after just a year of training.

“I just wanted to make it to the finals and I medaled,” she said.

McFadden—known as the Beast because of lightning speed on the track and bulging biceps—is now nominated for an ESPY award. It’s her fourth nomination but would be her first win.

“Just to be selected among those athletes is a huge honor,” she said.

The track and field gold medalist has an incredible journey of triumph over tragedy. It started in Russia, where she was born with spina bifida, which left her paralyzed from the waist down. She spent six years in an orphanage before being adopted by an American woman.

“It was an absolute miracle that I lived,” she said.

In 2013, McFadden was one of the thousands competing in the Boston Marathon, when an explosive went off that killed several people and injured dozens of others.

She would return in 2014 to win, dedicating her success to those who died.

“It was one of the best marathons I have ever ran. The energy that whole weekend was really, really high,” she said.

While athletic accomplishments are key in getting nominated for an ESPY, it’s the votes that take home the award. McFadden is hoping this is her year to bring an ESPY home to Maryland.

“I would probably scream, cry. It’s going to be…it would be such an honor to win it,” she said.

McFadden is the only female track athlete to be nominated.

To vote for McFadden, click here.

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