Alana Nichols grew up in Farmington, N.M., and was an avid snowboarder throughout her youth. In 2000, at age 17, she landed back-first on a rock while attempting a backflip on her snowboard. The injury caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down, but she quickly transitioned to adaptive sports.
Nichols became the first U.S. female Paralympian to win gold medals at both summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Paralympic Games. She is a three-time “Best Female Athlete with a Disability” ESPY Nominee (2010, 2011, 2012), and in May 2014 was inducted into the Warner Brothers “Superman Hall of Heroes” in the inaugural class of real-life heroes. In addition, Nichols won the first-ever all female adaptive surf competition in history and continues to passionately promote and enjoy adaptive surfing.
Nichols graduated from University of Arizona with a degree in Education, and, two years later, obtained a master’s degree in Kinesiology from University of Alabama. She works closely with her partner Roy Tuscany’s non-profit, The High Fives Foundation, to support individuals with SCI (spinal cord injury) and TBI (traumatic brain injury) returning back to life through adaptive outdoor sports. Nichols and Tuscany welcomed the birth of their first child – Gunnar – in 2019.
Sports: Para Wheelchair Basketball, Sprint Kayaking, and Para Alpine Skiing
Hometown: Farmington, New Mexico
Currently Resides: Reno, Nevada
Birthdate: March 21, 1983
Social Media: Twitter: @alananichols21; Instagram: @alanathejane; Facebook: alanajanenichols
Toyota Vehicle: Toyota Sienna
Paralympic History: 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016
- Five-time Paralympian (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016); Six-time medalist (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
- Paralympic Games Rio 2016, KL2 (canoe)
- Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, silver (downhill), 4th (giant slalom)
- S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 2nd slalom; Huntsman Cup, 1st giant slalom, 2nd slalom; World Cup Panorama, 2nd downhill, 2nd super-G, 3rd super combined; World Cup Copper Mountain, 5th giant slalom, 5th slalom
- Paralympic Games London 2012, 4th (wheelchair basketball)
- Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010, gold (downhill, giant slalom), silver (super-G), bronze (super combined)
- Paralympic Games Beijing 2008, gold (wheelchair basketball)
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