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Podcast 182: Paralympic Athlete Tatyana McFadden On Overcoming Obstacles

Podcast 182: Paralympic Athlete Tatyana McFadden On Overcoming Obstacles

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.

Listen on:

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. We have new ways to interact with the WHOOP Podcast! You can email us – – or you can call our new listener line (508-443-4952) and leave a question or comment, and your question might be answered on a future episode.  


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   Connect with Tatyana: Twitter Instagram