Alana Nichols is an American Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and alpine skier.
Growing up, Nichols was very active and competitive, but at the age of 17, she broke her back in a snowboarding accident, resulting in paralysis from the waist down. However, her accident didn’t keep her out of competition for long. She began playing wheelchair basketball at the University of Arizona just two years later. Nichols then qualified for the U.S. Paralympics Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team in 2005 and competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games, helping her team bring home gold.
In 2002, Santa Fe Ski Resort offered Nichols a grant that would allow her to learn adaptive skiing. She took on mono-skiing and excelled quickly. After returning from the 2008 Paralympic Games, Nichols began competing with the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) in Winter Park, Colo.
At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Nichols was the top medal winner for Team USA. She took home two gold and two silver medals and became the first American woman to win gold in both summer and winter Games.
Nichols graduated from the University of Alabama with a master's degree in Kinesiology with an interest in working with people with spinal cord injuries.
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