Director of the Innovations Program, Harvard Kennedy School
Named one of the top 15 most marketable para-athletes worldwide by the International Olympic Committee. Speaker Amy Purdy’s brilliant TED talk has grown so much in popularity that it now serves as an inspiration to new TED speakers who need to put together their own presentations. Organizations book Amy Purdy to learn how to live life despite the many obstacles it presents.
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Keynote speaker Amy Purdy ‘s life is a true inspiration to many. She grew up with a strong appreciation for the outdoors, health, wellness and travel, as well as being an avid snowboarder. However, her life took a turn when she was 19 years old. Amy ended up in hospital after developing flu-like symptoms and going into septic shock. The doctors estimated Amy’s chances of survival at less than 2%, and they placed her into a medically-induced coma.
Amy was diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, a bacterial infection that vaccination can typically prevent. Doctors had to amputate her legs just below the knee due to the lack of blood flow. One week before her 21st birthday, Amy’s dad donated her a kidney.
Despite the challenges, Amy did her best to move on with life and accomplish her many goals. She is one of the best adaptive snowboarders globally and a bronze medalist at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics. Amy is also the only double-leg amputee to take part in snowboarding competitions at the highest level.
As a result of Amy’s innovative thinking, optimistic view, and positive attitude, she has had the opportunity to be in a music video with Madonna. She also obtained the lead female role in a film, and took part in numerous modeling projects. In addition, she has worked with musician Nikki Sixx.
Thanks to her incredible journey, Amy has become an impactful inspirational and motivational speaker. Amy’s TED x Orange Coast talk, “Living Beyond Limits,” has grown so much in popularity that it serves as an inspiration to new TED speakers who need to put together their own presentations.
Several global publications have featured Amy’s story. In 2012, speaker Amy Purdy and her long-term boyfriend Daniel Gale competed in CBS’s The Amazing Race worldwide.
The International Olympic Committee named Amy one of fifteen most marketable para-athletes of 2013. Following her spectacular performances on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, Amy garnered millions of fans worldwide, ultimately finishing as the show’s runner-up in the spring of 2014.
When she was 19, Amy Purdy lost both her legs below the knee. And now ... she's a pro snowboarder (and a killer competitor on "Dancing with the Stars"!). In this powerful talk, she shows us how to draw inspiration from life's obstacles.
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