Who is Amy Purdy? A better question to ask is who she isn’t. Amy is most recently known for her stint on Dancing with Stars Season 18 and for winning a bronze medal in Snowboarding at the Paralympic Games in Sochi. She is also an actress, model, clothing designer, author and motivational speaker. She’s a busy lady and as you may already know, a double amputee. Amy has certainly not let this challenge stand in her way of accomplishing her dreams however.
Amy lost both of her legs below the knee after a life-threatening bout of meningitis when she was 19. She is truly a survivor who has defied all odds, proven by the fact she had only a 2% chance of overcoming her infection. Amy was a snowboarder prior to losing her legs and longed to return to it. After not finding any prosthetics that would allow her to continue taking part in the sport, she invented her own.
Amy has also co-founded a non-profit called Adaptive Action Sports. The organization, which is a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, creates skateboard, snowboard and other action sport camps, events and programs for youth, young adults and wounded veterans living with permanent physical disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Amy, along with Adaptive Action Sports fought to make adaptive snowboarding a part of the 2014 Paralympic Games. She ended up winning a Bronze Medal in this sport in Sochi.
Amy joined the DWTS cast immediately following the Sochi Paralympic games. She not only inspired America but her DWTS’s partner Derek Hough as well. In a TIME Magazine article Hough said “For somebody to take the chance and be courageous enough to do a show like this, it’s just really inspiring to me,” Hough said “I could tell without even meeting her that she didn’t see herself as disabled.”
Amy was wildly successful on DWTS, made it to the finals and finished second. In this video, Amy tells her incredibly inspirational story about overcoming and living as a double amputee, becoming a Paralympian and competing on Dancing with the Stars.
As a motivational speaker, Amy uses her story to inspire and empower others with disabilities. Her impressive list of accomplishments are proof that Amy refuses to let her disability limit the extent of her goals and dreams.
Photo courtesy of ABC