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Why's Amy Purdy Speaking at Imaging USA 2016? Pt. 3 - PPA Today

Why's Amy Purdy Speaking at Imaging USA 2016? Pt. 3


By James Yates

Because sometimes being an internationally recognized symbol for overcoming adversity just isn't enough and some of you wondered where the connection is, we have been spending the past several weeks helping you get to know Amy Purdy. You'll quickly understand why we're so excited to have her be part of Imaging USA 2016!

Each week you'll see a highlight on Amy, and how the inspiration and insight she provides make perfect sense for this year's convention! Be sure to go back and read last week's post and find out about Amy's amazing 2nd place finish on ABC's Dancing with the Stars or check out our post about Amy's non-profit, Adaptive Action Sports. This week, your Amy Purdy round-up is super-sized for your holiday week perusal and will be taking a look at the rest of Amy's noteworthy television appearances, especially her stint on The Amazing Race and her meet-cute with future husband, Daniel Gale.

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One year after losing her legs, Amy placed third in a snowboarding competition. In 2003, after proving herself as an unstoppable athlete, Amy was chosen as spokesperson for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This job opportunity moved her to San Diego where, soon after, she began picking up work as a model and actress.

As soon as Amy got out into the modeling world, she was recognized for her fierce determination and unbeatable attitude...not to mention her looks and ability to affix props to her legs! She was cast in a Madonna video and, when the Material Girl caught Amy strutting around on her prosthetics in the background, she demanded Amy be a featured performer and placed front and center in the "American Life" video. The video, while Amy's big modeling breakthrough, was pulled from television and banned. You can find it with just a little searching (it's the one with the military-runway theme).

Element skateboards and clothing company signed Amy to design and model a line of clothes and snowboards for them. They were a huge success and, once Amy took off on Dancing with the Stars, Element made the collection a permanent part of their line.

Already a muse for Madonna, Amy next worked in the pop music world with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx as a model for his book, This Is Gonna Hurt. She posed with giant ice picks as her legs in these unforgettable photos.

Continue Reading after the jump for Amy and Daniel's love story...





2005 saw Amy co-star in her first scripted film, the indie romantic comedy What's Bugging Seth? She plays a young woman born without legs who falls in love with a deaf exterminator. The film gained traction on the festival circuit but never saw wide release.

While Amy was falling in love on screen, she was also doing so in real life. In 2002, while on a snowboarding trip to Crested Butte, Colorado, Amy met Daniel Gale in a bar called the Black Whale. In her memoir, she writes, "Across the bar I noticed this really hot guy...the most beautiful smile I'd ever seen....I could tell from the way he was dressed that he was without a doubt a skater: jeans, skate shirt, Vans. All night, he kept smiling at me." Amy's nerves got the best of her that first night, but the following evening she was at a Super Bowl party and ran into Daniel again. "He then went around the entire circle and introduced himself to every person at the table. I was impressed, because it's not easy to just walk up to a table and connect with a group of strangers....He was a genuinely nice guy, one who probably had no idea I had on two prosthetic legs." When she did pull her pants-leg up for Daniel to see, his reaction of "Awesome." made him even more attractive to Amy. Daniel says, ""I think my reaction, I tried to keep it a little bit mellow so as not to be overly shocked, because at that point, there was already an attraction," he said. "Then she pulled up the other pant leg, not that that swayed me either but it was just, I was just like wow, this is even more -- she's even more incredible."

The 21st season of The Amazing Race aired in the fall of 2012. Viewers were introduced to the team of Amy and Daniel, described as an "on-again, off-again couple". The pair travelled to Shanghai and then Indonesia before being eliminated in only the second episode of the competition. The couple made an impression, though, and Amy was offered the deal to perform on Dancing with the Stars only a year later.

Amy found even greater success as a model post-Dancing with the Stars. She was one of the "Beauties" on The Price is Right and was featured as the star of a Super Bowl ad for Toyota Camry, one of the most popular commercials on the biggest ad night of the year.

Three years after shooting The Amazing Race, Daniel decided to ditch the old "on-again, off-again couple" cliché when on May 14, 2015 he proposed to Amy in Puerto Rico.

They were married August 29, 2015.

Through all of her successes, Amy has never stopped teaching the public how to evolve even in the toughest times. Her ability to take tragedy and build a career inspiring and helping others has provided amazing success time and time again over the last fifteen years. 2016 is sure to be another banner year for Amy, and she's beginning it by giving the keynote speech at Imaging USA in Atlanta on January 10! It's almost time to meet and greet Amy so be sure you're coming to Imaging USA 2016!

After the holidays, we will take a look at Amy's  greatest accomplishment: the Olympics.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Professional Photographers of America (PPA) published on December 22, 2015 4:54 PM.

Free Webcast from Expert Voices on the Copyright Review was the previous entry in this blog.

Imaging USA 2016 Transportation Guide is the next entry in this blog.

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