U of I wheelchair program near Boston explosions

Apr 15, 2013

When explosions hit near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, members of the University of Illinois Wheelchair Athletic program were just a couple of blocks away. Marissa Siebel is an athletic trainer for the athletes. She says their group was returning to their hotel after lunch.

  “It sounded like cannons had gone off, or fireworks. We were a couple of blocks away, and we noticed that people were running frantically, and sirens were going off. There were fire trucks and police, ambulances. The whole area just became quite chaotic.”

 Siebel says everybody who came to Boston from the U of I wheelchair athletic program is safe and accounted for. By the time the explosions occurred, the U of I wheelchair group had already completed their competition. Team member Tatyana McFadden won in the women’s wheelchair division, with a time of one hour, 45 minutes and 25 seconds. U of I alum Amanda McGrory, who trains with the U of I wheelchair team, came in third, despite a fall early in the race.