Paralympic gold-winning wheelchair racer prepares for TCS New York City Marathon

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Like many of elite athletes competing in the New York City marathon, Tatyana McFadden already has a number of wins to her name.

She's one of the standouts in the women's wheelchair competition.

But when she crosses the finish line on Sunday, she'll bring more than just her own dreams with her.

"I think the most important thing I'm going to be able to teach the kids is just amazement of the sport," McFadden said.

The sport McFadden is referring to is wheelchair racing, and she's a big part of what makes it amazing.

Fresh off winning four gold and two silver medals in the Paralympics in Rio, McFadden is helping to groom the next generation of racers by launching a "Mighty Milers" program at PS 333 on the Upper West Side, to inspire future racers of all abilities.

"What inspired you to go to the Olympics?" a child asked.

"It's what I love to do and if you love something you have to chase your dream no matter how hard it might be!" McFadden said.

With Rio behind her, McFadden is now aiming for her fourth consecutive win at the TCS New York City Marathon.

She's the first person, able-bodied or disabled, to sweep all four major marathons in New York, Boston, Chicago and London a staggering three years in a row.

"It's amazing to win all those right in a row," McFadden said. "People are just getting faster and better as well so each marathon win is quite special."

McFadden wants to pass on her considerable knowledge, not only to inspire kids, but also to boost interest in the sport that's made her a living icon.

13-year-old Emma Albert hopes to compete in the Paralympics one day and maybe even race against McFadden in a marathon.

"I've been counting down the days since I got to meet her," Albert said. "She just makes me want to work even harder until I get to the level that she's at. You have to develop a lot of muscles in your upper body that you didn't even know existed. So that has been one of the hardest things for me so far."

With time and a lot of hard work McFadden knows Emma's dreams could come true just like hers did.

"No dreams are too big or too impractical. It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like or if you have a disability or not. Your dreams are yours," McFadden said. null
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.