16 year old, Tatyana McFadden, of Atholton High School in Columbia, MD, was a lonely racer. The wheel chair athlete who won 2 gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games. But, wheel chair athletes were few and far between in her school district. She rarely had anyone to compete with.
Although the teen was allowed to practice with the other athlete’s, she was denied the right to race alongside of them. The rules limited her to wheel chair races only. This meant that she often raced alone.
McFadden filed a lawsuit against the school district. Recently, a judge issued a preliminary injunction paving the way for McFadden to race in non-wheel chair races.
Last week, McFadden pulled up the starting line in her first race against runners. Some of her competitors were a little concerned that they may get run down during the race. They had nothing to fear. McFadden is a world class athlete and handles her wheel chair with ease. At the end of the day she had participated in three races and enjoyed every minute.
There are some unique circumstances to McFadden’s races. While she allowed to participate with runners side by side, her time and stats will be considered separately. At least she won’t have to sit out on the track alone anymore.