In 2002, Alana Nichols went snowboarding in Colorado. She was attempting a back flip when she over-rotated and landed back-first on a rock. The injury paralyzed her from the waist down.
Soon after, Alana was introduced to wheelchair basketball and received a CAF grant for her first basketball wheelchair. She then quickly became a star in the sport and served as an alternate on the U.S. women’s team at the 2004 Paralympics, then was on the gold-medal winning team at the 2008 Paralympics. After the triumph in Beijing, Nichols changed sports—and seasons—by turning her attention to alpine skiing. She moved to Colorado and once again rocketed up the ranks. She won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze
at the Vancouver Paralympics, becoming the first female athlete—Olympic or Paralympic--to win a gold at both the winter and summer games. She followed up her Vancouver effort by winning another silver at the Sochi Paralympics earlier this year.