Tatyana McFadden’s path to potential 7 gold medals in Rio

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No American has done it in 12 years, but Tatyana McFadden is giving it a go at the Rio Paralympics.

McFadden is entered in seven track and field events, a total of 12 races in 11 days traversing 58,195 meters (or 630 football fields). The wheelchair racer believes it’s possible to win them all. No American has bagged seven golds at a single Paralympics since 2004.

“It’s definitely going to be one of the greatest challenges I face in athletics,” said McFadden, a 27-year-old who swept the Boston, Chicago, London and New York City Marathons in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

McFadden is entered in the 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 4x400m relay and the marathon. Her first preliminary heat is Thursday night. Her last medal race in her trademark event, the marathon, is on the final day of the Games on Sept. 18.

“In the sprinting, most of those girls are really just focused on the 100m and 400m, so I know that I have a lot of work cut out for me,” McFadden said Tuesday.

McFadden’s back story is well-known in Paralympic and marathon circles. She was born in Russia paralyzed from the waist down due to spina bifida and adopted from a St. Petersburg orphanage at age 6.

The last American to win seven golds at a single Paralympics was swimmer Erin Popovich at Athens 2004. Most of the Americans to earn that many golds were swimmers. The only U.S. track athlete to do it was Bart Dodson at Barcelona 1992, according to International Paralympic Committee archives.

McFadden is already one of the Paralympic greats going into Rio, her fourth Games. She owns 10 Summer Paralympic medals dating to her debut at age 15 in 2004 and tacked on a cross-country skiing silver at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014.

McFadden showed her track versatility at the 2013 IPC World Championships, sweeping the 100m through the 5000m to become the first athlete to take six golds at a single worlds. That was in July 2013. Earlier that year, she won the Boston and London Marathons. Later that year, she won the Chicago and New York City Marathons.

McFadden skipped the 2015 IPC Worlds to focus on her marathon racing, so she hasn’t been tested in a global championship in three years.

McFadden is confident, though, and pointed to Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, who swept the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics.

“If she can do it, I feel like I can do it as well,” McFadden said.

However, Petitclerc did not contest the 5000m 0r marathon at those Games.

If McFadden can even win six golds, it would be the largest haul by an American in Rio this year, topping the likes of Michael PhelpsKatie Ledecky and Simone Biles.

“Legends like Michael and Katie, and some of the U.S. girls, especially in gymnastics, too, they’ve made history,” McFadden said. “It would be honoring to be part of that history and part of that movement. I think it would also really, really help to grow the Paralympic sport as well, to show how dominant it is. Hopefully people will go wow.”

MORE: Rio Paralympics broadcast schedule

Gus Kenworthy’s hard crash dents Olympic double hope (video)

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Gus Kenworthy‘s goal of making the Olympic team in two events may have disintegrated as he tumbled to the bottom of the halfpipe in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., on Friday night.

He crashed on the lip of the pipe on his last run to finish ninth at the fifth and final Olympic ski halfpipe qualifier. Kenworthy needed at least a runner-up to automatically qualify for PyeongChang.

Kenworthy is still very likely to make the Olympic ski slopestyle team for a second straight time, but he wanted to be the first American to contest slope and pipe at the Games. That’s likely gone.

What we know: The three automatic Olympic halfpipe spots went to Sochi gold medalist David Wise, fellow Sochi Olympian Torin Yater-Wallace and first-time Olympian Alex Ferreira.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard can add a fourth man to the team via discretionary selection. It’s unlikely to be Kenworthy based on qualifying results. Kenworthy ranks sixth in the standings overall.

The man with the best credentials is Aaron Blunck, a Sochi Olympian and reigning X Games champ who made two podiums among the five selection events.

Another strong option is Kyle Smaine, the surprise winner of the fifth and final qualifier Friday night. But Smaine doesn’t have a finish better than seventh from the other four qualifiers.

Kenworthy has two ski slopestyle qualifiers Saturday and Sunday in Mammoth, after which the Olympic team will be named.

He is stronger in slopestyle than halfpipe, earning silver in Sochi and at the 2017 World Championships in the former. Kenworthy missed the Sochi team in halfpipe.

In women’s ski halfpipe on Friday, Devin Logan and Brita Sigourney joined Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman on the Olympic team.

Sigourney won the fifth and final Olympic selection event with a 91.20-point run, edging Bowman (89.80) and Logan (83.80).

Logan, the Sochi ski slopestyle silver medalist, is very likely to make the Olympic team in both halfpipe and slopestyle, which no man or woman did in Sochi.

One more discretionary Olympic women’s halfpipe spot could be awarded, likely to Sochi Olympian Annalisa Drew or Carly Margulies, who both missed the podium Friday night.

U.S. Olympic Qualifying Standings
Ski Halfpipe 
(through five of five events)
Three skiers can auto qualify per gender; up to four named to Olympic team
1. David Wise — 200** QUALIFIED
2. Alex Ferreira — 180** QUALIFIED
3. Torin Yater-Wallace — 160** QUALIFIED

4. Aaron Blunck — 140** (2nd and 3rd)
5. Kyle Smaine — 136* (1st and 7th)
6. Gus Kenworthy — 116* (2nd and 7th)

1. Brita Sigourney — 180** QUALIFIED
2. Maddie Bowman — 160** QUALIFIED

3. Devin Logan — 140** QUALIFIED

4. Annalisa Drew — 95 (4th and 5th)
5. Carly Margulies — 90 (4th and 6th)
**Has automatic qualifying minimum of two top-three results.
*Has one top-three result.

Mammoth Finals (all times Eastern)
Friday

Ski Halfpipe — 9:30-11 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

Saturday
Ski Slopestyle (#1) — 12:30-2 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)
Snowboard Slopestyle — 5-6 p.m. (NBC, NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)
Snowboard Halfpipe — 9:30-11 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

Sunday
Ski Slopestyle (#2) — 4:30-6 p.m. (NBCSports.com/live, NBC Sports app)

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VIDEO: Shaun White scores perfect 100 to qualify for Olympics

Christian Coleman breaks world indoor 60m record (video)

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Christian Coleman is the fastest man of all time — indoors.

The 21-year-old U.S. sprinter broke the world indoor 60m record by clocking 6.37 seconds at his first meet of 2018 in South Carolina on Friday night.

Maurice Greene, the 2000 Olympic 100m champion, held the previous record of 6.39, which he clocked in 1998 and 2001.

The record must still go through ratification procedures, which requires a drug test at the meet.

The 60m is the indoor equivalent of the outdoor 100m. They are the shortest sprints contested at their respective world championships.

Coleman, a 4x100m prelim relay runner at the Rio Olympics, has blossomed into arguably the early 2020 Olympic 100m favorite.

He most memorably clocked a 40-yard dash of 4.12 seconds last spring, which is one tenth faster than the NFL Combine record.

Then in August, Coleman took 100m silver behind Justin Gatlin at the world outdoor championships, beating Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final individual race.

There are no world outdoor championships this year, but Coleman could go for the world indoor 60m title in Birmingham, Great Britain, in March.

Coleman’s mark is the first men’s world record in an event contested at a world championships since Wayde van Niekerk broke Michael Johnson‘s 400m world record at the Rio Olympics.

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