Countless hours of training paid off for Tatyana McFadden as she won gold in the 400m, 800m and 1500m during the London Paralympics. The 400m marked her first ever gold and the moment was surreal for the 23-year-old. “When I crossed that line first, I got pretty emotional because I knew that this was my first gold medal ever,” McFadden says.
The three-time Paralympian was wowed by the job London did with the Games. McFadden was also moved by the 80,000 people in the stadium cheering on the athletes every day. “The crowd really made the Games,” McFadden says. “The fans are what keep us pushing and keep us wanting to do this sport.“
Competing at this level is difficult because equipment and travelling is expensive. McFadden’s experience in the Paralympics wouldn’t be possible without her sponsors. “Without the support of a sponsor like BP, it’s very hard for an athlete to keep going,” says McFadden, who is featured in a BP Team USA video that can be seen at www.bpusathletes.com/meet-the-athletes.
This fall, McFadden returned to the University of Illinois to continue pursuing her degree in human development and family studies. She plans on competing in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympics and soon will focus on her preparations.