Dr Oz: Amy Purdy On My Own Two Feet + Dancing With The Stars

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Dr Oz: World Champion Snowboarder Amy Purdy

Dr Oz welcomed Amy Purdy, world champion adaptive snowboarder, to his show. She was born and raised in Las Vegas but always dreamed of snow. She got her first taste of winter sports while skiing with her family, but was hooked as soon as she tried snowboarding. Her goal was to one day compete in and win a professional snowboarding competition. But at age 19, she came down with a devastating case of meningitis, and doctors were forced to amputate both her legs from the knee down.

Dr Oz: Amy Purdy On My Own Two Feet + Dancing With The Stars

Dr Oz talked to world champion snowboarder and former Dancing with the Stars contestant Amy Purdy about overcoming meningitis and what all she’s done since. (Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock.com)

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But Amy was determined and within three months she was snowboarding again. A few years later, using prosthetics she designed herself, Amy began winning snowboarding competitions. Now, she’s the only double-leg amputee competing at the world class level. She even took Bronze in the 2014 Paralympics.

Just three days after winning her medal in Sochi, Amy performed on Dancing with the Stars. Amy was all smiles as she joined Dr Oz on stage.

Dr Oz: Amy Purdy ‘On My Own Two Feet’

Amy shared that there were moments where she felt bad for herself. She moved to California with her boyfriend and saw girls wearing short dresses, while she had scars and prosthetic legs, but she couldn’t sit there too long. She said she started helping other people, and even started a non-profit to help kids with disabilities. She’s currently working with Take Action Against Meningitis so that people are aware that there are ways to protect themselves.

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Amy wrote a book called On My Own Two Feet because she said people know her from Dancing and the Paralympics, but they don’t know the journey that got her there. She said she doesn’t want people to just be inspired, but she wants them to feel that they can do what she’s done.

Dr Oz: Amy Purdy ESPN Body Issue

Dr Oz asked Amy if she would take her own legs back if she could and she said, “No, definitely not.” She said she wouldn’t be where she is today with them. She said she wouldn’t be the person she is today if she didn’t go through the trials and tribulations that she has. Dr Oz showed a picture of Amy from the ESPN Body Issue that shows the true beauty of her prosthetic legs.

Amy said she’s really proud of that picture because when she looks at it, she sees ability, not disability. She said we all have a choice every single day if we’re going to be disabled or not, because she knows people who have their legs who are a lot more disabled than she is.

Dr Oz: Amy Purdy Dancing With The Stars

Amy said she’d never done ballroom dancing before, but knew she would have a lot of fun doing Dancing with the Stars. She said she had to adapt every week, and was actually dancing in feet that were made of wood and foam. She did the waltz, which she said was the slowest and also the hardest dance they did.

She described it as riding a bike slowly, explaining that the human foot has over 150 bones and muscles for balancing and she had one piece of carbon fiber. She also explained that the waltz has an up and down flow that comes from your ankles, and not having ankles meant she had to lunge the entire time.

Dr Oz: Dance Lesson

Dr Oz wanted to know if Amy could teach him to dance, and she agreed to teach him salsa. Thank goodness it was just a three-step, because Dr Oz certainly isn’t the best dancer.

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