McFadden was born in Russian city St. Petersburg, where she was abandoned at an orphanage.

At birth, she was diagnosed with spina bifida, which left her paralysed from the waist down.

She eventually moved to the United States at the age of six when Deborah McFadden, who was the commissioner for the US Department of Health and Human Services at that time, adopted her.

McFadden made her Paralympic Games debut at Athens 2004, ranking second in the women’s 100m T54, third in the women’s 200m T54, and fifth in the women’s 400m T54.

Eight years later she claimed her first three gold medals at London, and then went on to win every event from the women’s 100m to the women’s 5,000m at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships.

Additionally, she is the first-ever athlete to win the New York, Chicago, Boston, and London Marathons, and has done so for three consecutive years.

Here at Rio 2016, she has won gold medals in the women’s 400m T54 and women’s 1,500m T54 and is aiming for six in total.

The Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award started at the Seoul 1988 Paralympics and has been presented at every edition of the Games since.

The mission of the accolade is to enhance the will of people with impairments to overcome their adversities through the pursuit of excellence in sports and through the Paralympic Games.

At Rio 2016, 17 participating countries nominated 21 athletes for the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award.

By Daniel Etchells