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Amy Purdy          

Former "Dancing with the Stars" Contestant & Paralympic Professional Snowboarder

Amy Purdy is a professional snowboarder who lost both of her legs to meningitis. She is also a former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, appearing on Season 18 with Derek Hough as her partner, finishing in 2nd place.

At 19, after experiencing flu-like symptoms, Purdy was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock. En route, she experienced respiratory and multiple organ failure which caused her to lose circulation to her extremities. When she entered the hospital she was given less than a 2% chance of survival, put on life support and placed into a coma. After multiple blood transfusions and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors diagnosed her with Meningococcal Meningitis, a vaccine-preventable bacterial infection. Due to the lack of circulation she had suffered, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. She later received a donated kidney from her father a week before her 21st birthday.

After going through this life-altering experience, Purdy challenged herself to move on with her life and attain goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve. Just three months after her kidney transplant, she entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship where she won medals in three events.

Purdy went on to become one of the top-ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world and was the 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist. She is the only double-leg amputee competing at the world-class level. Purdy’s creativity, positive outlook and her never give up attitude have opened doors to many other opportunities including being featured in a Madonna music video, a lead actress role in an award-winning independent film and multiple creative modeling projects including a photoshoot with musician and artist Nikki Sixx where her legs were custom made from steel to look like ice picks.

Purdy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker who has literally been seen by millions of people and invited to share her story with audiences around the world. Her story and images have been featured in numerous national and international publications, and in 2012 she and her longtime boyfriend (now husband), Daniel Gale, raced around the world on The Amazing Race.

In May of 2013 Amy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable Para-athletes in the world. Although Amy has numerous accomplishments, she is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports. Created in 2005, AAS is a non-profit organization which helps those with permanent disabilities to get involved in action sports. AAS has partnered with ESPN and runs adaptive action sport competitions at the summer and winter ESPN X Games. These events were instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.

In the Spring of 2014, Amy inspired millions of fans with her stunning performances on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, eventually becoming the show’s runner up. Later that year she toured the country sharing her remarkable story alongside Oprah Winfrey, as part of Oprah’s "The Life You Want" Tour. In

In 2015 Amy released her autobiography, On My Own Two Feet, which quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. Amy was also the featured performer in the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Her dance went viral was viewed by over 300 million people around the world.

Amy was also featured in a Superbowl Commercial for her partner Toyota which aired just after kickoff. The commercial fettered Amy Running, Dancing, Snowboarding, modeling and speaking all to the voice of the great Mohammad Ali and his ” How Great I am” speech.

Purdy participated in the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in Korea where she won a silver medal for the snowboarding cross and placed third in the banked slalom.

Speech Topics

Inspiration / Motivation

Within that category, you’ll be hard pressed to find too many better. Fundamentally, she is telling her own story, but therein she hits:

• Creativity / Problem Solving • Overcoming Obstacles • Technology • Living a Purpose Driven Life - #LiveInspired as she calls it.


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