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“I feel like if we could parallel in sports with Paralympics and marathons and wheelchair racing, we can also help parallel disabilities in communities. A lot of our idols come from sports figures. We can really give back to our own communities and make sure people with disabilities have that chance to get an education and hold a job. A lot of athletes who compete in the Paralympics go home and try to get a job and they can’t. That’s not only a U.S. issue. It’s a global issue. That’s the important part. I feel like if we can make that change in sport, we can make that change in the community. It’s an important responsibility, especially if you’re a current athlete, to give back to the sport. Previous athletes, who were once my competitors but then retired, they did the same thing. They pushed the sport along the way.”
I had the opportunity to record with Tatyana McFadden the day before she won her 24th major marathon at the Chicago Marathon. She got on a plane and headed to compete at the Boston Marathon, where she made the podium with a runner-up finish. In our pre-race conversation, we talked about all things Paralympics, her role as a producer and star in the Netflix documentary “Rising Phoenix” and her advocacy work to change the way people think about disability, diversity and human potential.
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Photo by Kevin Morris/@KevMoFoto