Yesterday, London hosted the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games. The competitions begin today and continue until September 9. Colleagues from the U.S. Embassy in London met with U.S. Paralympians Tatyana McFadden and Josh George before they competed in the iconic London marathon earlier this year. In the above video, they share their hopes and dreams for this summer's Paralympic Games.
Voted one of the "top ten stars to watch" at the Paralympics, wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden will compete in the 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, and a full marathon. With such a huge range of events and distances, Tatyana has embarked on a grueling training regime that has earned her the nickname the "Beast." In discussing what it takes to become a world-class Paralympian, McFadden says, "You work so hard. You work for four years, every single day 24/7."
The Russian-born Tatyana was introduced to sport at an early age. She fondly recalls, "When I arrived in America, there was something about sports I just got involved with." With the strong support of her mother, a former Commissioner of Disabilities for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, acting as a constant source of encouragement, Tatyana said that "I had a dream, and I had a goal, that I wanted to be an Olympian someday."
Having achieved that dream in the Athens Games at the age of 15, Tatyana has now raised the bar and the number of events in which she will compete. When asked about London, Tatyana says, "...It's gonna be a phenomenal event. An event that no one will have ever seen before." Her experience in Athens and Beijing have made the veteran all the more focused on winning, but also excited for what these games will offer. "Each games, a new country sets the benchmark. I think London is going to do just that."Related Content: Check out Paralympic Gold Medalist Josh George's challenge for you!Editor's Note: This entry also appears on the U.S. Embassy in London's blog. Go to the U.S. Embassy's website for more information on the 2012 Paralympic Games.