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Podcast 182: Paralympic Athlete Tatyana McFadden On Overcoming Obstacles

July 28, 2022

Our guest this week on the WHOOP Podcast discusses what it takes to overcome obstacles to become one of the most dominant female wheelchair racers of all time.

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WHOOP Founder & CEO Will Ahmed sits down with Tatyana McFadden, arguably the best female wheelchair racer of all time.

Tatyana has 24 World Major Marathon wins – including 4 consecutive Grand Slams, meaning she placed first in the Boston, Chicago, NYC, and London marathons in the same year. She has 20 Paralympic medals, including 8 golds, and has broken 5 world records in track and field.

Born in Russia with spina bifida – a congenital disorder that paralyzed her from the waist down – she spent the first six years of her life walking on her hands because the orphanage she was in was too poor to afford a wheelchair for her. Tatyana shares her story and perseverance, including the role that accessibility to sport had in saving her life.

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3:23 – Growing up in an orphanage in Russia

6:23 – Starting her journey as a wheelchair racer, both in sprint and long distances

9:11 – How sports saved her life

18:24 – How she prepares and trains for races

19:07 – How she uses WHOOP

24:07 – How she prioritizes sleep

30:22 – What it took to recover from a potentially career-ending lymphedema

36:58 – Advice for those struggling

39:24 – The big goals she has next


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