Amy Purdy makes her debut with NBC Olympics as a wheelchair basketball reporter during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Prior to joining NBC, Purdy competed in snowboard cross at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and won the bronze medal. In addition to her many victories and titles, Purdy was also named champion at the 2012 Para-Snowboard World Championships. She was instrumental in advocating for the inclusion of adaptive snowboarding to the 2014 Paralympic Games.
Purdy began snowboarding at the age of 15, but contracted bacterial meningitis at age 19 and had less than a two percent chance of living. She survived the infection, but lost both of her legs below the knee and would later require a kidney from her father the week before her 21st birthday. Purdy longed to return to snowboarding, and when she couldn’t find prosthetics that would work for snowboarding, she built her own. In 2005, Purdy co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization and branch of Disabled Sports USA that is dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports.
Purdy stays busy off the slopes with work as a motivational speaker, model and actress. She is a spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization that provides grants for training, competition and equipment for athletes with disabilities. Purdy has been featured in a Madonna music video, a photo shoot with Nikki Sixx, and she made her film debut in “What’s Buggin’ Seth,” a movie by Eli Steele, in 2005. She was also a contestant on the 21st season of “The Amazing Race” with partner Daniel Gale, and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009.