X Games

Top 50 Female Athletes in Action Sports

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39. Amy Purdy

Photograph By Doug Pensinger/Getty

Amy Purdy lost both of her legs below the knee to meningococcus, a rare form of bacterial meningitis, when she was 19. Now 34, Purdy is largely responsible for bringing adaptive snowboarding to both the X Games and the Winter Olympics through the Adaptive Action Sports organization she founded in 2005 with her boyfriend Daniele Gale. Not only has she made the podium in nearly every International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing World Cup event since 2011, in March she won bronze in the Paralympic debut of snowboard cross. Then she boarded a flight to Los Angeles to begin competing in Dancing with the Stars. My legs haven't disabled me, Purdy has said in a 2011 TEDx presentation that has clocked more than 500,000 views so far. If anything they've enabled me: They've forced me to rely on my imagination and to believe in the possibilities.