The Bank of America Chicago Marathon today announced that Paralympic gold medalist and defending champion Tatyana McFadden headlines a star-studded wheelchair athlete field at the 36 th annual race on October 13. McFadden is vying for her third Chicago title in a row and fourth in the last five years. Since winning her first marathon at the 2009 race, the 23-year-old Champaign, Ill.-based athlete has rapidly ascended to the highest levels of the sport. A student at the University of Illinois (U of I), she’s the latest in a long line of world-class athletes to emerge from the storied U of I wheelchair racing team.
“Tatyana arrived at the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon having never competed in a marathon and she won in a thrilling sprint finish. She’s never looked back,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We’re proud of our relationship with the University of Illinois racing team and continually impressed by their performances on what has become their home course. Several athletes, like Tatyana, have gotten their start here and gone on to win all over the world.”
After accumulating bronze and silver medals at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, McFadden struck gold at the 2012 London Games, winning the 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter races. This summer, she became the first woman to win six gold medals at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, sweeping the 100- through 5,000-meter races. In April, she won the Boston and Virgin London marathons within the same week. With victories at the Chicago and ING New York City marathons this fall, she could become the first racer to win four World Marathon Majors within the same year. For her groundbreaking accomplishments, McFadden was a 2013 ESPY Award finalist, and is a Women’s Sports Foundation’s 2013 Sportswoman of the Year nominee.