Tatyana McFadden on the power of inclusion and campaigning for change

Sep 04, 04:00 AM

USA’s Paralympic multi-medallist Tatyana McFadden's remarkable story from a Russian orphanage to changing US legislation to allow equal opportunities for children with disabilities.

USA’s Paralympic multi-medallist Tatyana McFadden tells her story from scooting around her orphanage in St Petersburg, to changing legislation in the USA to allow equal opportunities to sport for kids with disabilities as well as her sporting career spanning four summer and one winter Paralympic Games.
 
As well as reliving many Paralympic stories, McFadden talks about how she is driven by a purpose that goes beyond winning medals.
 
"I had to fight to be allowed to train. I was denied the right to run alongside other athletes and I thought 'this is not how it should be'. We're setting the stage of teaching people it's okay to discriminate people with a disability. So I wanted to do something about it. So I sued for no money, no damages, but the right for the opportunity to participate in high school sports. It was the hardest battle as a high schooler to go through for four years."
 
She also talks about why telling the Paralympic story in Netflix’s Rising Phoenix was so important to her, and how they broke new boundaries in film-making by ensure that 16% of the people working on the film had a disability.