Illini athletes dominate Team USA for Tokyo Paralympics
Illinois alum Tatyana McFadden, who trains at the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) on campus, is among the 20 Illini chosen to represent Team USA in the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The Games are still being labeled as Tokyo 2020 despite being contested in summer 2021 due to the global pandemic. Illinois’ outstanding representation at the Games is proof that the reputation of UIUC and DRES as a Paralympic training powerhouse is well-earned.
For McFadden, it will be her sixth Paralympic Games, and in that time, she’s collected 17 medals, including seven gold. Another Illini and DRES trainee, Ray Martin has medaled seven times in his two previous Games.
In the wheelchair racing category, McFadden, Amanda McGrory and Martin are joined by teammates Daniel Romanchuk, Aaron Pike, Brian Siemann, Alexa Halko, Kelsey LeFevour, Yen Hoang, incoming Illini freshman Hannah Dederick, Chelsea McClammer, Jenna Fesemyer, Eva Houston, Susannah Scaroni and Isaiah Rigo.
Romanchuk won all five races he entered at the track and field trials to secure his second Paralympic berth. Scaroni also had an impressive showing at trials in both the 5000-meter and 1500-meter races, winning both events.
You can find podcasts with Martin, Scaroni, Romanchuk, Siemann and more athletes on our website.
Those 15 join three Illini alum who previously clinched spots on the USA wheelchair men's basketball squad: Steve Serio, Brian Bell, and Ryan Neiswender, and two from women's basketball: Kaitlyn Eaton and Ali Ibanez.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. And follow the progress of our athletes on social media!