Font size bigger Font size smaller
INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
13412-Alana Nichols photo

Alana Nichols

Canoe
3
2
1

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11

Further personal information

Residence
San Diego, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Coach
Languages
English
Higher education
Education, Psychology - University of Arizona: Tucson, AZ, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She first tried Para skiing in 2002, but had always been a keen skier and snowboarder prior to her accident. She began competing seriously in Para skiing soon after the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, where she competed in wheelchair basketball.
Why this sport?
She was offered a grant by the Santa Fe Ski Resort in New Mexico, United States of America, that allowed her to learn Para skiing. She was inspired to start competing after watching the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin.

General interest

Hobbies
Going out for coffee with friends, surfing, underwater diving. (ymcdn.com, 06 Sep 2016; padi.com, 09 Oct 2017)
Hero / Idol
US wheelchair basketball player Patti Cisneros, US surfer Kelly Slater. (grindtv.com, 21 Nov 2016; teamusa.org, 2016)
Injuries
She was knocked unconscious and required stitches in her chin after crashing during the alpine skiing super-G sitting event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. She recovered in time to compete in the giant slalom sitting event at the Games. (SportsDeskOnline, 16 Mar 2014; al.com, 11 Mar 2014)

In June 2013 she dislocated her right shoulder and broke both of her ankles after crashing into a boulder while skiing at Mount Hood, OR, United States of America. She underwent shoulder surgery and returned to training on the snow in November 2013. (espn.com, 24 Sep 2015; uanews.arizona.edu, 17 Mar 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Do the best you can with what you have." (ymcdn.com, 06 Sep 2016)
Awards and honours
In 2011 she was named Sportswoman of the Year in Colorado, United States of America. (denverpost.com, 13 Mar 2011)

She was named 2010 Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee [USOC]. (skiracing.com, 25 Jan 2011)
Other sports
She won a gold medal in wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and competed in Para canoe sprint at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She also competed in adaptive surfing at the 2015 World Championships in San Diego, CA, United States of America. (mirror.co.uk, 28 Sep 2015; SportsDeskOnline, 21 Mar 2010)
Ambitions
To compete in surfing at the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (refinery29.com, 03 Oct 2016)
Impairment
In 2000 at age 17, she was snowboarding with friends in Colorado, United States of America, and decided to try a back flip. She over-rotated and landed back-first on a rock, resulting in paraplegia. (universalsports.com, 05 Mar 2010)
Other information
NATIONAL FIRST
She was the first female representing United States of America to win a gold medal at both the Paralympic Games and Paralympic Winter Games. She won a gold medal in wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and in alpine skiing [giant slalom sitting and downhill sitting] at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. (teamusa.org, 31 May 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 21 Mar 2010)

ADAPTIVE SURFING
She is aiming to raise the profile of adaptive surfing and help get it added to the sports programme of the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. "I'm focused on helping surfing's governing bodies figure out adaptive surfing for themselves and helping others get out there in the surf. My M.O. is to raise as much awareness for adaptive surfing as I can. That way, when the time comes to choose the sports for 2024, we'll be ready as a sport." (grindtv.com, 21 Nov 2016)

OTHER STUDIES
She studied a master's degree in kinesiology at University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL, United States of America. (teamusa.org, May 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final Round 1
Women's Super Combined Sitting Final Round 3
Women's Slalom Sitting Final Round 8
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 1
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 2
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Tournament Final 101
Women's Tournament Semifinal 201
Women's Tournament Quarterfinal 301
Women's Tournament Group A 4
Women's Tournament Group A 3
Women's Tournament Group A 2
Women's Tournament Group A 1
2011 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (Sestriere, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final 2011-01-16 1
Women's Super-G Sitting Final 2011-01-18 1
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Final 2011-01-19 9999
Women's Slalom Sitting Final 2011-01-20 3
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2011-01-21 3
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women Group B 2012-08-30 1
Women Group B 2012-08-31 3
Women Group B 2012-09-01 5
Women Group B - Standings 2012-09-03 2
Women Group B 2012-09-03 10
Women Quarterfinal 2012-09-04 302
Women Semifinal 2012-09-06 201
Women Bronze Medal Match 2012-09-07 102
IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2013-02-20 9999
Women's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2013-02-21 9999
Women's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2013-02-24 9999
Women's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2013-02-25 7
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2013-02-26 4
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Downhill Sitting Final Round 2014-03-08 2
Women's Super-G Sitting Final Round 2014-03-10 9999
Women's Giant Slalom Sitting Final Round 2014-03-16 4
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's KL2 Semifinal 2016-09-14 4
Women's KL2 Heat 1 2016-09-14 4
Women's KL2 Final 2016-09-15 7