CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Tatyana McFadden, a Paralympic medalist and a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will serve as the grand marshal of this year’s homecoming parade.
An accomplished student athlete in both wheelchair basketball and wheelchair track, McFadden graduated from the U. of I. in 2014 with a degree in human development and family studies.
Born with spina bifida, she spent the first years of her life in a Russian orphanage. Paralyzed from the waist down, she learned to walk on her hands simply to keep up with the other children. At age 6, she was adopted by Deborah McFadden, who brought her to the U.S. and gave her both a wheelchair and a new start on life. McFadden became involved in sports as a means to heal and gain strength.
McFadden made her Paralympic debut in Athens in 2004, at age 15. The youngest member of Team USA returned from Greece with two medals. McFadden has competed in every summer Paralympic Games since then and is a 17-time Paralympic medalist, including seven gold. She holds the world record in every track event and most recently set five Paralympic records in Rio.
In 2013, McFadden became the first athlete to win four major world marathons in a single year; she has accomplished this feat three years in a row.
McFadden also works as a national advocate for equal access for people with disabilities, and speaks to children and adults about healthy living.
The parade takes place Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. The route begins at Sixth Street and Taft Drive in Champaign, traveling through Campustown and turning south on Mathews Avenue in Urbana to end at the Quad.
Several campus-area streets and intersections will be closed between 5:30 and 7 p.m. MTD routes through the parade area will be modified and delays may occur. Streets and intersections that are affected are listed below.
Parking lot E-3, next to the main library, will not be accessible between
5:30 and 7 p.m. No entrance to or exit from the facility will be allowed. Staging for the parade will take place around the Krannert Art Museum on Sixth Street. While Peabody Drive will be open to motorists, expect delays.
At 7 p.m., all streets and intersections will reopen and buses will return to regular routes.
- Sixth Street from Peabody Drive to Armory Avenue;
- Armory Avenue from Sixth Street to Wright Street;
- Wright Street from Armory Avenue to Green Street;
- Green Street from Wright Street to Mathews Avenue;
- Mathews Avenue from Green Street to Nevada Street
- Sixth Street and Laredo-Taft Drive
- Sixth Street and Gregory Drive
- Sixth Street and Armory Avenue
- Armory Avenue and Wright Street
- Wright Street and Chalmers Street
- Wright Street and Daniel Street
- Wright Street and John Street
- Wright Street and Green Street
- Green Street and Mathews Avenue
- Mathews Avenue and Oregon Street
- Mathews Avenue and Nevada Street