Snowboarders Amy Purdy and Dan Gale will be competing on the 21st season of "The Amazing Race," premiering Sunday, Sept. 30 on CBS, the network announced on Wednesday.
Purdy had both of her legs amputated beneath the knee when she was 19, after a battle with bacterial meningitis, and has since gone on to win three consecutive World Cup gold medals and a string of other titles as a top-ranked adaptive snowboarder. She is currently training with hopes of joining the U.S. Paralympic Snowboard team; she won silver at the World Championships in France in February, sharing the podium with gold medalist Bibian Mentel of the Netherlands and bronze medalist Sara Dorigatti of Italy.
"With a lot of hard work and creativity, I guess, I've been able to go on and become one of the highest-ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world," she says in an introductory video released by CBS. Purdy and Gale won't be the first snowboarders featured on the show: Pro snowboarders Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin enjoyed a successful run during Season 19 in 2011, ultimately finishing in fourth place out of 11 teams.
Purdy and Gale co-founded the Adaptive Action Sports non-profit organization in 2005 and have been instrumental in bringing adaptive action sports to the X Games and other events, including the Paralympics. Gale, executive director of the Adaptive Action Sports organization, has served as sports organizer for X Games events over the past seven years including Adaptive Moto X, Adaptive Skateboarding, Adaptive Skier X and Adaptive Snowboarder X. In March it was announced that Para-Snowboard competition will make its debut at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
"'The Amazing Race' is everything that you would expect it to be and more," Purdy told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "I think it's going to be a great platform for my message, which is that it's not really about me trying to show how able or how capable I am so much as that we're all able, we're all capable. We all have challenges and we all face adversities. We all have to adapt. 'The Amazing Race' is perfect for me because it's all about adventure and travel and taking risks and throwing yourself out there and challenging yourself. That's what I've been doing with my life anyways, so it's a beautiful platform to be able to take that to a bigger audience."
In addition to her record as an athlete, Purdy is known in the action sports world as one of the faces of Element Skateboards' Element Eden women's apparel line and a sponsored rider for Gnu Snowboards, Coal Headwear and Toyota. She is also sponsored by Freedom Innovations Prosthetics, Prosthetic Orthodic Associates and Southern California Prosthetics, among others. She was a featured speaker and skateboarding coach at the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) No Barriers Summit in Winter Park, Colo., in 2011, and her 2011 presentation, "Living Beyond Limits," was a hit at the TEDx Orange Coast conference.