Congratulations to Amy Purdy for becoming the first U.S. woman to bring home a medal in the Para Snowboard Cross event at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
About Amy Purdy (via Steve Silverman’s Bleacher Report article):
Crash Course: Amy Purdy started snowboarding as an able-bodied teenager and dreamed of a career in the sport. But when she contracted bacterial meningitis at age 19 and lost her spleen, kidneys and both legs below the knees, that dream seemed in jeopardy. However, she taught herself how to snowboard again and became a three-time World Cup gold medalist in adaptive snowboarding with her prosthetic legs.
Athletic Profile: Purdy, 34, has been the preeminent performer in her sport. She has been the top-ranked adaptive snowboarder in the world since 2011. Her creativity and success on the mountain has had a lot to do with making snowboard cross an official event in the Paralympics.
Life-Changing Illness: Purdy thought she had the flu when she came home from work in 1999 feeling sick. It was bacterial meningitis, and her organs started shutting down as she was transported to the hospital. She was in a coma for three weeks and was given a two-percent chance to live. But just seven months later, she was back on a snowboard, and she has become a world-class athlete.
Giving Back: After finding that there were no resources for disabled athletes in non-traditional sports, Purdy started Adaptive Action Sports to help disabled athletes perform in snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, rock climbing and motocross.
About Adaptive Action Sports (adacs.org):
ADAPTIVE ACTION SPORTS IS RECOGNIZED AS THE TOP ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARD ORGANIZATION IN THE US. SINCE 2005 AAS HAS PROVIDED TOP NOTCH PARA-SNOWBOARD COMPETITION TRAINING AND CAMPS FOR ATHLETES AND WOUNDED VETS LOOKING TO PROGRESS IN THE SPORT OF ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARDING. WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE THE TOP ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARDERS IN THE WORLD COME FROM OUR PROGRAMS AND ALSO VOLUNTEER TO TRAIN NEW RIDERS. WE ALSO ORGANIZE OTHER ACTION SPORT PROGRAMS WHICH INCLUDE SKATEBOARDING, MOTOX AND RALLYCAR RACING. AAS HAS ORGANIZED AND HOSTED MULTIPLE HISTORICAL EVENTS INCLUDING THE ESPN X GAMES ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARD-X, THE X GAMES ADAPTIVE MOTOX AND THE FIRST EVER ADAPTIVE SNOWBOARD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Watch Amy in the inspirational video “Raising an Olympian: Amy Purdy”