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Unstoppable Disabled Athletes

At Kids Co., we create nurturing environments where children of all abilities can grow and thrive. With this in mind, we are intentional in our planning to ensure that our activities are inclusive and accessible for everyone to enjoy. We also believe that introducing kids to role models from all different backgrounds and abilities is key to developing thoughtful and empathetic individuals who have the strength of character to go after their goals and follow their dreams. As part of our Disability Pride Month series, we are highlighting some extraordinary athletes who prove that determination and passion know no limits. These remarkable para-athletes have faced various challenges, but their spirit and resilience have transformed them into true trailblazers.

Speedster Extraordinaire: Tatyana McFadden

Imagine racing down a track with the wind in your face, your heart pounding with excitement. That’s the feeling Tatyana McFadden experiences every time she competes. Born with a spinal cord defect, McFadden moves with unmatched speed and grace in her racing wheelchair. She has won an incredible 20 Paralympic medals and broken five track and field world records, earning her the title “Fastest Woman in the World.” She and her family have also been instrumental in advancing laws that ensure access to school sports for kids of all abilities.

Learn more about Tatyana McFadden’s story in this short video.

Amazing Alpine Skier: Danelle Umstead

Danelle Umstead is a visually impaired alpine skier who conquers the slopes with bravery and skill. Despite losing her eyesight due to a genetic eye condition, Umstead fearlessly takes on the mountains with her sighted husband as her ski guide. Together, they are an unstoppable team, winning multiple medals in the Paralympic Winter Games. Umstead teaches us the power of teamwork and the beauty of trust, proving that we can achieve greatness with the support of those who care about us.

Watch and listen as Danelle Umstead tells her story.

Dancing Dynamo: Amy Purdy

Prepare to be amazed by the captivating artistry of Amy Purdy. After losing both her legs to a severe illness, Purdy turned to adaptive snowboarding and dancing to express herself. She wowed the world on “Dancing with the Stars” and became the first double amputee to compete in the Paralympic snowboarding events. She is now the most decorated U.S. Paralympic Snowboarder in history. Purdy’s determination to pursue her passions despite her challenges encourages us to embrace our uniqueness and find joy in our abilities.

Read more about Amy Purdy in her book, On My Own Two Feet

Table Tennis Master: Ibrahim Hamadtou

Ibrahim Hamadtou wasn’t an athlete when a tragic accident took both of his arms. After the accident, however, sport became central to his story when this Egyptian athlete learned to play table tennis using his mouth to hold the paddle. Today, Hamadtou competes on the international stage, inspiring countless people with his skill and resilience. His tale teaches us that our biggest limitations are the ones we set for ourselves, and with unwavering determination, we can achieve the impossible.

Follow Ibrahim Hamadtou’s journey in this video.

Swimming Sensation: Ellie Robinson

Ellie Robinson, a talented swimmer from the UK, was born with a form of dwarfism, but that never stopped her from diving into greatness. She has medaled at multiple Paralympic Games and serves as a role model for young athletes worldwide. Robinson’s achievements remind us that we should embrace our uniqueness and let our passions guide us to achieve our wildest dreams.

Get a peek behind the scenes with Robinson’s children’s mystery story, Gold Medal Mysteries: Thief on the Track

These athletes are true heroes, showing us that strength is not just physical but also a state of mind. They’ve conquered challenges that would intimidate many, proving that with determination, passion, and a positive mindset, we can achieve greatness. We hope that these stories will inspire you and your family to be champions of your own lives!

Learn more about the incredible athletes of the Paralympics in the Netflix film, Rising Phoenix