Tatyana McFadden poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on Nov. 19, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.
Historically, Team USA has impressed across all classifications in track and field at the Paralympic Games, and this year in Tokyo it is expected to be no different. U.S. Paralympics Track and Field announced on Thursday the 26 women who will represent Team USA this summer, following their top performances at the U.S. Paralympic Team Trials in Minneapolis.
The roster will be headlined by five Paralympic champions — Breanna Clark, Cheri Madsen, Tatyana McFadden, Amanda McGrory and Deja Young — in addition to rising star sprinters Femita Ayanbeku, Brittni Mason and Alexa Halko.
McFadden is a 17-time Paralympic medalist and the winner of 22 World Marathon Majors, aiming to compete in five wheelchair racing events in Tokyo. Her story from a Russian orphanage to Paralympic prodigy has been told time and time again, as she has been competing at the Games since she made her debut at 15 in 2004.
“I have a really busy full schedule ahead, so I’m going to take it event by event,” McFadden said. “I really hope with the increased broadcast coverage and media attention people will be tuning in to watch the athletes in Tokyo. It’s really great preparation in the lead-up to L.A. hosting the Paralympic Games in 2028, too, so people can get to know the Paralympic athletes.”
McFadden will be joined by two fellow veteran athletes at the start line in the T54 class in eight-time Paralympic medalist Madsen and seven-time Paralympic medalist McGrory. Washington state natives Susannah Scaroni, now a three-time Paralympian after winning the 1,500 and 5,000 at trials, and up-and-coming 18-year-old Hannah Dederick, who beat Madsen by one-hundredth of a second in the 100 at trials, will also be in Tokyo to challenge her. McFadden, Scaroni and McGrory are all products of the University of Illinois wheelchair racing program, which Dederick will be entering in the fall after she competes in Tokyo.