Paralympic Snowboarding Preview
Team USA made history at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, capturing the first medals awarded in the sport's Paralympic debut led by a U.S. snowboardcross podium sweep by Evan Strong, Mike Shea and Keith Gabel. Amy Purdy also captured the first U.S. medal for the women with bronze. With history on its side, the U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team will aim to build on their successful four-medal showing in Sochi with the addition of eight more medal events and a new discipline: banked slalom. MORE

Brenna Huckaby
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Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2018 Paralympic hopeful
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A competitive gymnast before losing her leg to bone cancer in 2010, Brenna Huckaby has proven herself as the one to beat in PyeongChang. Huckaby, who competes in the LL1 class, rose quickly to the top of the women's snowboarding field after picking up the sport in 2013. Just two months after being named to the U.S. national team in 2015, the Baton Rouge native won her first world title in snowboard-cross followed by a silver in banked slalom. In 2016, she took time off to give birth to her daughter, Lilah. Huckaby wasted no time on her comeback, returning to training just six weeks later and winning double gold at February's 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships in Big White, Canada. With her back-to-back world titles and resilience in life and the sport, the 21-year-old has established herself as a medal favorite heading into the 2018 Winter Games.
About Brenna
Something quirky: I love karaoke. My friends and I go on Mondays, and it's just a fun way to force your way out of your shell and have fun with friends. I am a terrible singer, which makes it more fun. I can also hold my breath underwater for a really long time.

Nickname: Struggle Bus because I am always forgetting or breaking something. Also Throttle Baby because I like to go really fast, and if someone is coming up behind me I go faster, like a throttle.

Best advice received: Live for the day and dream about the future. You can only control what you do today; if you put in the work, the future will work out.
Amy Purdy
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Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Paralympic Experience: 2014 (1 bronze)
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An avid snowboarder, Amy Purdy's life changed in 1999 when at just 19 years old, she contracted bacterial meningitis. She was able to survive the infection, but lost both of her legs below the knee and would later require a kidney from her father the week before her 21st birthday. Purdy returned to snowboarding and made history at the 2014 Winter Games when she won a bronze medal in the Paralympic debut of snowboard-cross. Since then, she has continued to stay busy off the snow with work as a motivational speaker, model, actress and co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit that helps people with physical disabilities get involved in action sports. Purdy also made history on the dance floor when she became the first U.S. Paralympian ever to compete on television show "Dancing with the Stars" in which she finished second with dance partner Derek Hough. After the show, she took time off from snowboarding to embark on a nationwide speaking tour with Oprah Winfrey and release her memoir, "On My Own Two Feet." In 2017, she returned to the scene after contracting a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis to win three world cup medals and a bronze at the World Para Snowboard Championships, reinforcing her position as a podium-contender in PyeongChang.
About Amy
Hidden talent: I recently won a bowling match against some really good bowlers. I also used to paint, but since my home isn't done, I haven't been able to set my paints up and get back into it.

Something quirky: I haven't eaten a banana since I was about 4 years old. My sister and I made a pact to never eat bananas and since then we never have.

Best advice received: Keep the momentum going. Momentum is a huge part of my life and how I have succeeded. You have to just keep it going and don't stop!
Mike Schultz
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Hometown: Saint Cloud, Minnesota
2018 Paralympic hopeful
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Mike Schultz lives and breathes action sports. Best known as "Monster Mike" for his aggressive riding style, he was a professional able-bodied athlete in snocross before suffering a severe injury in a snowmobile race that led to the amputation of his left leg above the knee. Dissatisfied with the prosthetics available on the market, Schultz engineered his own prosthetic leg design using a patented linkage system and a mountain bike shock and went on to found his own company, BioDapt, Inc. in 2010 that serves amputee athletes and wounded veterans. That same year, Schultz became the first person to win a gold medal at the X Games and Winter X Games when he was victorious in adaptive motocross and adaptive snocross. He turned to snowboarding in 2012 as a way to test his knee in activities beyond motorsports and has seen immediate success, winning a series of world cup medals and most recently, his first world championship medal with silver in banked slalom competition in 2017. Currently, more than 100 wounded soldiers and athletes are using Schultz's prosthetics, including U.S. teammate and defending Paralympic champion Evan Strong. Schultz is sure to be a medal-contender in PyeongChang.
About Mike
Hidden talent: I'm great at metal fabrication.

Nickname: Monster. It came from my aggressive riding style while racing Snowcross and has stuck since 2003.

Best advice received: Don't get hung up and distracted by the things that are out of your control.


Evan Strong
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Hometown: Maui, Hawaii
Paralympic Experience: 2014 (1 gold)
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Growing up in Maui, Hawaii, Evan Strong traded the sand for the snow and hasn't looked back since. A promising skateboarder on the verge of going professional, his life changed just 10 days before his 18th birthday when he was struck by a drunk driver while riding a motorcycle in a head-on collision. Three days later, Strong's left leg was amputated below the knee and two days after, started physical therapy with a mission of being active again. Ten years later, Strong was standing on the top of the podium in the inaugural snowboarding competition at Sochi 2014 leading a historic U.S. podium sweep. At age 30, the defending Paralympic champion has continued to be a leader in the sport and heads into PyeongChang 2018 stronger than ever. Strong won snowboard-cross silver at the World Para Snowboard Championships and his first career world cup globe in 2017, capturing the most overall points for snowboard-cross and the overall-combined.
About Evan
Hidden talent: I'm pretty good at spray paint art and can do a back flip off a cliff into a pool.

Something quirky: I love my Maui cruiser van. I seriously am so stoked on it. It is nearly 20 years old and has a mismatched hood. But I can camp in it and load so many car seats and people in it. Which is important when you have a family as large as mine. It's a 4wd mini van that can hold its own in even the muddiest of circumstances, which I like to test often. My wife teases me about it all the time.

Best advice received: My meditation teacher told me after my accident that "with a good attitude you can be the hero of the whole world." I always try to keep that in mind.
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