Alana Nichols

Sports: Paracanoe, Alpine Skiing, Wheelchair Basketball

Alana Nichols is a world-class athlete with a passion for challenging herself and others. From a young age, her passion for sports and adventure has driven her and no matter what obstacle life throws her way, she takes a challenge head on. After suffering a spinal cord injury at age 17 while attempting a back flip on her snowboard, Alana quickly transitioned to adaptive sports.
Nichols began playing wheelchair basketball in 2003 at the University of Arizona. She made the U.S. Paralympic Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team in 2005, making her Paralympic Games debut in Beijing. After winning a Gold Medal for Team USA in Beijing, Alana returned to the slopes and started training and racing with hopes to make the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Ski Team.

After her first season on the racing circuit, Nichols made the National Team and competed at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Alana earned two gold medals for Team USA, one silver and one bronze in alpine skiing events, becoming the first American female athlete in history to win gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympic Games.
Alana took on a new athletic challenge and began training in Sprint Kayaking, in which she went on to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, coming in 7th place.
Alana works closely with The Hartford, a Founding Partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, helping to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability.
For more information about Alana’s accomplishments, visit Alana Nichols's website or Team USA’s website.
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Photo by Joe Kusumoto