24 Illini heading to Rio for 2016 Paralympics


Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois’ Tatyana McFadden (11) shoots the ball during the wheelchair basketball game against Chicago Sky for the Illini Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament that was held in the ARC on Saturday, November 7, 2009.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

Tatyana McFadden is back in business at the Rio Paralympics. The 11-time medalist is on track to sweep every distance in track in this year’s games.

Joining McFadden are not only her sister, Hannah, and head coach, Adam Bleakney, but also 23 other current and former Illini.

Those athletes stretch across five sports — wheelchair basketball, rowing, sitting volleyball, track and tennis — and five different countries: The Illini athletes will represent Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States.

GyuDae Kim, who trains on Illinois’ campus and is a student of Parkland College, will compete in five events for South Korea’s track team.

Two coaches, one athletic trainer and one equipment technician are donning American uniforms, with alumnus Kevin Orr coaching the Canadian quad rugby team.

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The Paralympics start Wednesday and run through Sept. 18.

Illinois makes its first appearance Thursday at 8 a.m. in a women’s wheelchair basketball game against France.

Stephanie Wheeler is the head coach of the Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team and is in the same position for Team USA.

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