My name is Amy Purdy. I am a survivor, a snowboarder, a founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a globetrotter and a daydreamer.
All of the above have helped to get me where I am today, which is on the path to the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games!
In 1999, I lost both of my legs to bacterial meningitis at the age of 19 and I had no idea if I would ever snowboard again. I dreamed about snowboarding on a daily basis and went on a mission to figure out a way to do it again -- what type of feet work, what type of sockets work, how do I even keep these detachable body parts attached to my body in the first place (this reality came with some pretty funny experiences, I’ll just leave it at that).
While on my path of figuring out how to snowboard with bionic body parts, I came across many hardships including enduring a kidney transplant the week of my 21st birthday where my dad was the donor. Just three months after my transplant I attended the 2001 USASA (United States of America Snowboard Association) national competition in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., where I met a handful of other adaptive snowboarders who were just as passionate about the sport as I was. For the first time ever I felt like I fit in again.
This crew of pioneer snowboarders have gone on to not just participate in the sport over the years but also help it grow to what it is today.
After winning a bronze medal at the event, I went on to start a non-profit organization with my boyfriend Daniel Gale called Adaptive Action Sports. As our relationship grew, so did the desire to grow the sport of adaptive snowboarding and help others who were in my similar situation get the resources they needed to get involved with the sport.
We made it a mission of ours to help to get snowboarding into the Paralympic Games as well as the Winter X Games so in 2006 we started hosting snowboard camps, competitions and events.
After years of hard work our dream came true and in 2010 we hosted our first X Games adaptive boardercross event, which went off without a hitch! It also gave us platform to show the world what adaptive snowboarders were capable of!
We worked closely with other international organizations who shared the same goal of getting snowboarding into the Paralympic Games.
Then, on May 2, 2012, we got exciting news! I was a week away from leaving the country to participate in the CBS TV show, The Amazing Race with Daniel when I opened my computer and read the headline, “Para-Snowboard included in Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
In my opinion, that was the moment the real race began, the race to the 2014 Paralympic Games!
Never let defeat, defeat you!
You can also follow my journey on Facebook or Twitter.