Disabled Snowboarder Carves Fresh Tracks

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 8, 2009 12:14 pm

Just ten years ago, Amy Purdy visited the doctor for a seemingly innocent case of the flu. Within one day in the hospital, her condition deteriorated and Purdy found herself on the brink of death.

After diagnosing the competitive snowboarder and Las Vegas native with bacterial meningitis, the doctors amputated both of Purdy’s legs below the knees due to circulation complications. Since the unexpected hospital visit ten years ago, Purdy’s sole focus revolved around strapping on a snowboard again, and helping other extreme athletes do the same. 

Shortly after the amputation, Purdy immediately noticed a lack of resources dedicated to disabled extreme sport athletes; while more traditional sports like running, swimming, and biking seemed to have significant support. 

A few years later, Purdy founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit dedicated to supporting everyone from disabled snowboarders to motocross riders in order to fill the gap in the disabled athlete arena. The organization now sponsors sports camps and coordinates the annual X Games Adaptive Moto X event. 

In 2008, the United States of America Snowboard Association approached Adaptive Action Sports to host the inaugural Adaptive Snowboard World Championships at Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado. The non-profit’s next goal is to get adaptive snowboarding into the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. 

After a lot of hard work, Purdy is now riding at about the same caliber as before her amputation and you probably wouldn’t even notice if she charged past you.

More information on Adaptive Action Sports available at www.adacs.org