The USA’s three-time Paralympic medallist and Para Snowboard pioneer Amy Purdy has announced her retirement from the sport.
Purdy, who made it onto the podium at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 as well as at the World Championships, posted a video to Instagram on Saturday with the news.
“Snowboarding saved my life, it’s what I lived for and it gave me the most amazing life I could ever have asked for,” Purdy said in the post.
The video contained pictures, videos and reflections from Purdy’s 13-year professional career.
These include her journey from a hospital bed as a teenager, to developing her own prosthetics and competing at the highest level.
“If you can see it, you can believe it and you can achieve it,” is the message at the end of the video.
Purdy was a passionate snowboarder when at the age of 19 she was rushed to hospital with bacterial meningitis. Both her legs were amputated below the knee as a result, but Purdy was determined to beat the odds.
Returning to the snow again quicker than the predictions of doctors, Purdy also co-founded Adaptive Action Sports (AAS) with her now husband Daniel Gale. Created in 2005, the organisation helps those with disabilities get involved in extreme sports. A partnership between AAS and ESPN to place Para Snowboard on the programme of the winter X Games helped the sport to gain a place at the Paralympics.
Purdy then became one of the first medallists when the sport debuted at Sochi 2014, winning bronze in snowboard-cross. Four years later at PyeongChang 2018 she claimed silver in the same event in the women’s SB-LL1 and bronze in banked slalom.
Purdy has also carved out a career off the snow. Just after the 2014 Paralympics, Purdy famously appeared on the US version of Dancing With The Stars, eventually finishing second with dance partner Derek Hough. The 42-year-old has also written a book called ‘On My Own Two Feet’ and is a motivational speaker. And at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, Purdy danced with a robotic arm.
In recent years Purdy has continued to speak about her journey and life as an athlete whilst recovering from a severe blood clot and major surgery on her legs.