A big congrats to Paralympian skier Tatyana McFadden, she took home the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics in the 1km cross-country sprint. “It feels amazing. It’s been a long journey and exciting journey to get to Sochi. So, it’s unbelievable,” exclaims Tatyana to Healthy Hollywood.
Healthy Hollywood got a chance to chat on the phone with the Paralympian phenom. Besides taking home silver, she also placed fifth and seventh in two skiing competitions. Even more remarkable is the fact, the 24-year-old had only been training on snow just a few months before the games. And, up until a year ago, had been on skis only a handful of times. “Going into Sochi I had goals and expectations of myself, but coming after the games, I exceeded these expectations. It was my first winter games and I wanted to have fun and having my family there meant everything,” adds Tatyana.
Yet, Tatyana is no stranger to competitions. She’s a champion wheelchair racer and has competed in marathons and the past three Summer Paralympic games. As part of Team Liberty Mutual, Tatyana’s inspiring story of triumph against the odds is captured in their “Rise” campaign.
Tatyana’s survival story is nothing short of miraculous. She was born with spina bifida and spent the first six years of her life in a poverty-stricken Russian orphanage. Before she was adopted by American parents, Tatyana had taught herself to walk around on her hands. And, with support and love of her adopted parents, sports became her outlet and passion. “People do have set backs in life, but it is how you come back. I’m so honored to be able to share my story. I’m not just an athlete, I’m also a person who was adopted and has disabilities. So, I feel I can reach and relate to several people.”
This ambitious athlete already has her sights on her next big race. In 3 weeks, she’s planning in competing in the London marathon and then will head to Boston for its annual marathon.
-- Terri MacLeod