Tatyana McFadden sets world javelin record

STUDENT ACHIEVER

February 20, 2002

The student: Tatyana McFadden, 12

School: Lime Kiln Middle

Special achievement: Tatyana broke the world javelin record for her age group at the 2001 Junior National Wheelchair Championships in New Jersey. In her sixth year in the competition, she also broke U.S. and world records in track and swimming last year.

Tatyana, who has spina bifida, plays basketball, ice hockey and water polo with the Bennett Blazers junior wheelchair teams for Maryland. She is the only wheelchair user in her school and is on the honor roll.

Originally from Russia, she was adopted by American parents at age 6. She was the only child to speak in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Adoption this year.

What she loves about track and swimming: "It's really about racing your own time and being your personal best," Tatyana says.

What sports do for her: "Being an athlete has helped build my confidence," she says. "And my strengths and abilities break down stereotypes about people in wheelchairs. People learn more from me."

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