“Dancing with the Stars” Season 18 includes a formidable roster of contestants who will compete for glory in the ballroom – including double-amputee Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy.
AccessHollywood.com takes a look at five things you might not know about the 34-year-old who is preparing to compete at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
- At the age of 19, Amy lost both of her legs below the knee due to Meningitis, which affected her circulatory system. She also had her spleen removed and received a kidney transplant from her father at the age of 21.
- She began snowboarding just seven months after her leg amputations. She is now the top ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S. and three-time World Cup Para-snowboard winner.
- Amy gives back in a big way as the co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization which helps disabled youth, adults and wounded veterans get involved in action sports, an organization that was instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games.
- She’s no stranger to rubbing elbows with the stars! In 2003, she was featured in a music video for Madonna, but the video was later shelved.
- Reality TV is not new to her. In 2012, she and partner Daniel Gale appeared on “The Amazing Race” Season 21, but were the second team to be eliminated.
Will Amy and pro-partner Derek Hough have what it takes to win the mirrorball? Find out on the new season of “DWTS,” which kicks off on March 17 at 8 PM on ABC.
-- Jesse Spero