Q&A: Amy Purdy
The Paralympic snowboarder on her proudest achievement
Furthermore spoke to Purdy, who was recently honored alongside champion snowboarder Chloe Kim with the Inspirational Athlete Award at the 2018 Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular, about life after winning silver and bronze medal victories at the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang.
What’s your exercise routine been like post-Winter Games?
Tell us about your Olympic journey earlier this year.
I went into 2018 very unsure if I would be prepared for the games, but I decided to just keep my eye on the goal. In my first competitions last November I came in last place simply because I wasn't able to pull out of the start gates at a 100 percent. But coming through each competition, I started to feel my body get stronger and stronger.
To win a silver in Pyeongchang in Snowboard Cross, which is the most aggressive of the sports that we do, I couldn't be happier. It really was this amazing journey. And I can see it's just look forward, look forward, look forward.
What else inspired you during the competition?
After being diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis at age 19, you were given a less than two percent chance to live. How were you able to use that as a catalyst?
It completely changed my outlook on life because I was more aware of my mortality and that life can end so quickly. You have to use what you have now if you're healthy and you're strong and you're blessed. I just wanted to live the best life I possibly could, and not let my legs limit me. And in fact, my [prosthetic] legs have actually taken me to more places, and bigger places, than I ever would have gone had I not lost my legs.I had a lot of challenging times learning to walk again, and getting comfortable in my own skin again, and tons of medical issues. But at the same time I really tried to focus on what I had versus what I lost, and just continue to chase my dreams.
Out of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
For me the most compelling thing is being able to give back, and being able to affect somebody's life in a positive way. It's one thing to win a medal, but if you keep it to yourself there's really no joy around it. It's just kind of another thing sitting on your shelf. But being able to share that medal and also be able to help other people achieve that goal as well, I think is the most fulfilling thing that I've been able to do.