Amy Purdy has been at the forefront of adaptive snowboarding since having both legs amputated in 1999 after surviving bacterial meningitis. Determined to beat the odds and continue her passion, she was riding again well before professional advice ever suggested and it did not take long for Purdy to be the force she is today.
Purdy has been a top-ranked snowboarder since 2011 and is a four-time IPCAS Snowboard World Cup medallist.
Purdy began snowboarding at age 15, but in 1999, she contracted bacterial meningitis at the age of 19 and had less than a two per cent chance of living. She was able to survive the infection, but lost both of her legs below the knee and would later require a kidney from her father the week before her 21st birthday.
Purdy longed to return to snowboarding, and when she couldn’t find prosthetics that would work for snowboarding, she built her own. In 2005 she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organisation and branch of Disabled Sports USA that is dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports. She was instrumental in advocating for the inclusion of adaptive snowboarding to Sochi 2014 Paralympics.
After founding Adaptive Action Sports, Purdy has pushed the boundaries of her sport in the USA and abroad, helping others find and love the sport so central to her life. A model and regular media talent, Purdy’s story toward and through the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be followed closely, as she looks to capitalise on a strong support network, a huge amount of talent and as much hard work and perseverance as you will find.
In 2005, Purdy and her partner Daniel Gale founded the not-for-profit Adaptive Action Sports to help adaptive athletes get involved with action sports, art and music.
Away from the snow, Purdy is a qualified makeup artist, accomplished actor (she played a runway model in a Madonna music video) and motivational speaker.
he was also a contestant on the 21st season of The Amazing Race with Gale. Purdy also skateboards, wakeboards, runs and rides mountain bikes.
She will face closest rival Bibian Mentel of the Netherlands during the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.