Amy Purdy will trade in her snowboard for a pair of dance shoes on March 17 during the two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars. ABC revealed the season 18 cast on the March 4 broadcast of Good Morning America. She will become the first U.S. Paralympian to appear on the reality TV show.
Purdy’s Dancing with the Stars debut will be just three days after she competes at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. She is currently the only bilateral amputee competing in the international snowboarding field. She is ranked number one in the United States and number two in the world in para-snowboarding and is a three-time World Cup Para-snowboard winner. Purdy is also the cofounder of Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization that helps disabled youth, adults, and wounded warriors get involved in action sports. She has appeared in a Madonna music video, secured a lead acting role in an award-winning independent film, has worked as a professional model, and is an accomplished motivational speaker. In 2013, Purdy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable Para-athletes in the world.
Purdy will team up with five-time Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough to compete against Olympic gold-medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White, actors Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar, comedian Drew Carey, and six other celebrities.
“It’ll be a little challenging but fun,” Purdy told U.S. Paralympics. “I was a little concerned at first, but then I just thought this is an opportunity to try it out, and who knows how far I can go or if we can come up with some cool, innovative ways [to do what other dancers can do]. Maybe I can’t point my toes, but maybe I can do something else…. Hopefully it does inspire other…amputees or other people who have challenges or limitations to get out, try something new, and have fun with it.”