Superman Hall of Heroes inductee, Alana Nichols, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to look beyond tragedy following a snowboarding accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. As a gold medalist in the summer and winter Paralympic Games, and the first female athlete to win gold in both, Alana is a true inspiration, proving to others that they, too, can overcome any obstacle.
Alana Nichols was born in Farmington, New Mexico on March 21, 1983. She graduated from Farmington High School in 2001 and the University of Arizona in 2006 with a degree in Special Education Rehab and School Psychology. She obtained a Master’s from the University of Alabama in 2008 in Kinesiology.
Throughout her youth, Nichols was an avid snowboarder. In 2002, however, Nichols landed back-first on a rock while attempting to back flip on her snowboard. The injury caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. Nichols refused to let her athletic career stop there though, as she began playing wheelchair basketball just two years later.
Her talent in the sport ultimately took her to the Beijing 2008 Paralympics Games, where she and Team USA earned gold. Shortly after the Beijing Games, Nichols moved to Colorado and picked up adaptive alpine skiing through the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park. At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics Games, Nichols earned two gold medals, one silver and one bronze in alpine skiing events, becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympics Games. She also earned a silver medal in the 2014 Sochi games in downhill skiing.