If Tatyana McFadden gets better as the distances get longer, then she’s lining up to win five or six gold medals in Rio.
McFadden captured her first gold Sunday, winning the T54 400m in 53.30 seconds, her second event of seven total at these Games. It came two days after McFadden opened her daunting seven-event slate with silver in the 100m, her shortest race.
Cheri Madsen, a 2000 Paralympic champion in this event, took silver in 54.50, the first Paralympic medal in 16 years for the 39-year-old.
McFadden’s remaining events are the 800m, 1500m, 5000m, marathon and the 4x400m relay. McFadden swept the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m at the 2013 IPC World Championships but is best known for her marathon prowess.
She won the wheelchair divisions of the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathons in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
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.
In Rio, she could be in line for 12 races in 11 days traversing 58,195 meters (or 630 football fields). She came into the Games believing it was possible to win all seven events.
If she wins all of her remaining events for six golds, it would be more than any American at a single Paralympics since swimmer Erin Popovich‘s seven at Athens 2004.Follow @nzaccardi