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PureDWTS Guest Blog: “Amy Purdy’s Story Is Truly One To Be Awed By”

A freelance blogger named Elizabeth Eckhart sent us a guest blog on Amy Purdy!! Amy’s personal story is compelling to say the least as many of us have commented and as Elizabeth told us privately when she reached out to us, “I think she’s a pretty impressive role model for anyone”. That she is! More below in this touching piece…

Amy Purdy, one of the most promising new contestants on Dancing with the Stars and the shows first double amputee, lost her legs when she was 19 after a near deadly bout of bacterial meningitis. To say she hasn’t let that stop her is an understatement. In fact, Amy’s challenges may have been what fueled her, giving her the motivation to compete not only as a pro-snowboarder, but also to participate in The Amazing Race, purse acting and modeling, create a non-profit, and now, of course compete on Dancing with the Stars!

Amy’s story is truly one to be awed by. As a young girl, she first started boarding at 14, and immediately became obsessed with the sport. Amy told Nightline, “I tried snowboarding at 14 and I absolutely fell in love with it. “I snowboarded every day off I had, every weekend I had off of school, every holiday we had off from school, and it became a huge part of my life, not just what I love to do, but really just kind of who I was.”

One can only imagine then, the horror that followed at age 19, when out of the blue Amy contracted meningitis. She recalls waking up only feeling weak, but within 24 hours found herself in the hospital on full life support. Meningitis attacks the protective membranes of the brain and spinal cord through the bloodstream, so even before Amy’s legs were amputated, doctors had to first fix her lungs, both of which had collapsed. “If somebody would’ve told me that I was going to lose my legs at the age of 19, I would’ve thought there’s absolutely no way I’d be able to handle that,” said Amy. “But then it happened and I realized that there’s so much more to live for, that my life isn’t about my legs.”

After the amputations she wanted to get immediately back into boarding, but discovered that as of yet there were no prosthetics that worked with a snowboard. Her doctor and her decided to put their heads together in order to create an entirely new foot that would work on the board. A year after her amputation, she was back on the competitive circuit. Today, Purdy is a world champion with three World Cup gold medals in adaptive snowboarding and just won a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi.

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Pic Courtesy of Zimbio Pictures

By 2005, though, Purdy was ready to do more than just get herself back on the board, and decided to co-found the non-profit company Adaptive Action Sports with boyfriend Daniel Gale. Her goal was to offer fellow physically-challenged people an opportunity to learn or relearn how to snowboard the same way she had. Amy’s purpose wasn’t only to garner attention for the sport of adaptive snowboarding, but also to aid in the recovery process for those who lost limbs. Regarding the non-profit, Amy says “They see that we’re not just able-bodied saying ‘it’s going to be okay’… they see that it’s going to be okay.”

Amy not only created a non-profit, she also spreads her motivational word by publicly speaking for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and her highly-acclaimed TED talk focuses on the idea that the only factor stopping individuals from accomplishing something is their own mental block.

Many have pointed out that in regards to DWTS, Amy has little to no disadvantage. She’s a pro on her prosthetics, and is an athlete in tip-top shape to boot! As she showed viewers last week, she’s not one to be overlooked after she landed a score of 24 out of 30, and brought the studio audience to their feet. According to Twitterverse data crunched by the social media analysis tool Viral Heat, there is a high chance Purdy’s fans will take her to the end, even.  An impressive 82% of tweets about Amy include positive support for her in the contest, and even Time.com is pulling for the snowboarder:

I, for one, would love to see such a positive role model make it to the end!

AmyPurdyDerekHough

March 26, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.

Pure Exclusive: Sharna Burgess Talks On 2014 Version Of DWTS, BWAT With Gleb Savchenko, And Lots More

What a joy it was to interview our beautiful Miss Sharna again!! After seeing her and Gleb Savchenko in “Ballroom With A Twist” in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I had so many questions. What’s fun is…she and Gleb put an amazing, show-stopping dance number to “Fever” together only several hours before the show. Let’s hope they will perform it again on Dancing With The Stars as it literally took my breath away and I know it would take yours away as well.

Also, Sharna catches up on all of her projects that happened in the off season of Dancing With The Stars! She and her boyfriend and dancer Paul Kirkland spent Christmas together and they also helped to choreograph two dances for “Strictly Come Dancing”. Not only that, but, they also put a dance piece together for a sports charity called “Sports Relief” with 4 incredible paralympians. Sharna also recently danced in Holland America’s Dancing With The Stars At Sea Cruise. She sent us some incredible photos and pictures highlighting everything as you will soon see.

Lastly, Sharna also gives some thoughts on the new season of Dancing With The Stars and how it will be the “2014 Version”. We think you might find her thoughts interesting.

So, without further ado, below is Sharna Burgess! We thank her so much for her time again and let’s hope we see her and Gleb on the new season of Dancing With The Stars.xxx

It is so great to visit with you again, Sharna. And first, omg,…can I just say, you and Gleb took my breath away at the Cheyenne, WY Ballroom With A Twist Shows Feb. 1st! So, what did you think of Cheyenne and the Rocky Mountains? Did you like the SNOW? I hope you will come back to the Rocky Mountain region again one day again.

Hi Vogue!!! Thank you so much for your beautiful review AND amazing photos!! that certainly means a lot to both Gleb and I. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see very much of Cheyenne, I flew in late the night before the show and super early the morning after, but I have to say that I loved the snow. Being Australian I have never really seen snow all that often, and what little snow we do have in Australia is really icy and hard, being in Cheyenne I truly understood what people mean when they say powder!! Its just so beautiful and fun to play in!! Of course we know mother nature can sometimes be cruel turn that beautiful snow into a menace, and my heart goes out to all of you who have been suffering with blizzards and painfully cold weather this season. I am truly grateful for every single person in the audience that braved the cold to come out and see us perform, Cheyenne was such an AMAZING audience and I had so much fun up on that stage! I feel like everyone’s troubles got left at the door and we all just had a wonderful evening. Its an honor for me to know that I was a part of that. I also hope that I make it back there again soon :)

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What kind of rehearsal process did you go through in getting ready for Ballroom With A Twist? I thought you and Gleb were only doing 2 dances. So, I was so happy and pleasantly surprised when you did more! They were just breathtaking as well as your costumes. You and Gleb were in an element of your own. I have to say (and I’ve heard this from other fans at PureDWTS too) that you two make one of the most beautiful pro pairings on the show. It’s true. There is a magnetism and chemistry there. Plus, you are both so funny too with the way you would tease one another.

Oh thank you!!! I absolutely love dancing with Gleb, not only is he the sweetest most humble guy on the planet, he is a fantastic partner and Read more..

February 12, 2014 I Written By

I'm a fashion and music fan....and I have always loved dancing too of any kind. Dancing With The Stars seems to have this way of bringing all of those things together. One of my favorite dancing quotes at the moment: "No matter what, nobody can take away the dance you've already had...." ~Gleb Savchenko . For fun music and dance mixes, visit WilUnleashed Soundcloud.