Double-Amputee Snowboarding Champ, Entrepreneur Amy Purdy Motivates Others: 'My Life Isn't About My Legs'


Amy Purdy Launched Non-Profit Clothing Line

In 2005, Purdy co-founded a non-profit company, Adaptive Action Sports, with the love of her life, boyfriend Daniel Gale, hoping to offer other physically-challenged people a chance to experience for themselves what snowboarding has meant for her.

"They see that we're not just able-bodied saying 'it's going to be okay,' they see that it's going to be okay," Purdy said.

One such person is 25-year-old Collin Raaz, a marine sergeant who lost both of his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan just last May. He was in Crested Butte, Colo., so Purdy could teach him how to snowboard again.

He said he hopes that just like Purdy, he too will soon be tearing up the mountain again. Purdy certainly makes it look easy.

Her boyfriend, Daniel Gale, was awestruck from the first day he met her back in 2002. He was smitten by her looks and impressed with her snowboarding prowess. He hadn't the vaguest clue that she had prosthetic legs.

"I think my reaction, I tried to keep it a little bit mellow so as not to be overly shocked, because at that point, there was already an attraction," he said. "Then she pulled up the other pant leg, not that that swayed me either but it was just, I was just like wow, this is even more -- she's even more incredible."

For Purdy, the attraction was mutual.

"I was actually surprised that he was so mellow about it, because I was used to people saying, 'Oh, my gosh, what happened?' or 'Whoa, I've never seen that,' or, 'Is that carbon fiber?' or something like that, and he was so mellow, he was just like, 'Awesome,'" she said.

Together, the couple made another dream of Purdy's come true by bringing adaptive snowboarding to the Winter X-Games seven years ago. Their next mission is to get the sport into the Paralympics.

Amy Purdy's incredible story and abilities have earned her wide acclaim. Madonna asked her to appear in a music video that was later shelved, Motley Crue used her in a photo shoot, and she had a prominent role in the film "What's Bugging Seth?" And when Purdy is not busy on the snowboard, she is often skateboarding, wakeboarding or working on launching her own clothing line, Live Learn Grow.

Purdy has made a life's purpose of sharing her message of triumph with the world through motivational speaking. She recently gave a highly-acclaimed TED talk.

"Our biggest disability is our, up here," Purdy said, pointing to her head. "This is where we limit ourselves."

For more information, visit Amy Purdy's website:

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