When Alana Nichols was 17, she attempted a backflip on a snowboard. She over-rotated and land with her back on a rock. Her t10 and t11 vertebra were broken, and Nichols, who led an incredibly active lifestyle, was paralyzed from the waist down.
Since then, however, she hasn’t slowed down. In fact, she’s sped up—way up. She holds Olympic/Paralympic Games gold medals in wheelchair basketball and alpine ski racing. She took 7th place at the ISA Worlds Adaptive Surfing Championships in an all-male field for the upright division. She has a paralympic silver medal in downhill alpine skiing, paralympic two gold medals in downhill and giant slalom, a silver in super G. She was the 2011 Paralympic Athlete of the Year, and that’s not even half of her accolades. Alana Nichols is an incredible athlete, and she recently tested the waters at Austin’s NLand. Judging from the smile on her face, she’ll be back.