CLARKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland wheelchair marathoner Tatyana McFadden has made headlines for her incredible athleticism. Now the gold medalist is being honored again — this time, by her fans.
Considered one of the greatest athletes in the world, Clarkesville’s own Tatyana McFadden won an ESPY for best female athlete with a disability.
“It means that I have the best fans in the world. They definitely drive my success and where I am today. If it wasn’t for the fans, then I wouldn’t be known publicly. I just really enjoy what I do and sharing my story,” McFadden said.
“It just was an amazing feeling that I finally won. I’ve never won an ESPY before, and it’s a huge honor and you’re there among great athletes, and so it was just a great night to be there,” she added.
McFadden was born with spina bifida, leaving her paralyzed below the waist. She spent the first six years of her life in a Russian orphanage before being adopted and brought to Maryland.
McFadden has won three straight wheelchair marathon Grand Slams, and could win a fourth after already winning the Boston and London marathons this year.
She also finished in the top ten in the International Paralympic Nordic Skiing World Championships last year.
Next stop, Rio, where she is going for the gold in seven races.
“It’s going to be my fifth Games, my fourth Summer Games,” she said. “So I feel like each Games I grow a little bit more, get a little bit stronger, get a little bit wiser in wheelchair racing. I’m really looking forward to these Games.”
McFadden has been nominated for an ESPY six times. Paralympic swimmer Becca Meyers from Timonium won the ESPY last year.