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.
Nichols is a two-sport phenomenon in wheelchair basketball and alpine skiing. She grew up in Farmington, N.M., and was an avid snowboarder throughout her youth. In 2002, however, Nichols landed back-first on a rock while attempting a backflip on her snowboard. The injury caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down.
Nichols didn’t let her athletic career stop there, though, and began playing wheelchair basketball just two years later. She is the first American female to win gold medals at both Summer (Wheelchair Basketball) and Winter (Alpine Ski Racing) Olympic/Paralympic Games.
Alana has been an athlete all of her life, but it wasn’t until a spinal cord injury in 2000 that redirected her career into a different kind of success story. As the first female American athlete to win gold medals in both summer and winter Paralympic/ Olympic Games, Alana competed in Sochi in Alpine Skiing where she won silver in Downhill and finished in 4th place for Giant Slalom. In May, Alana received an honor higher than any medal as she was inducted into the inaugural Superman Hall of Heroes celebrating real-life heroes!
2014 Paralympic Winter Games – Silver Medal Downhill; 4th place Giant Slalom
2012 Paralympic Summer Games – 4th place Wheelchair Basketball
2010 Paralympic Winter Games – Two Gold Medals: Downhill & Giant Slalom; Silver Medal Super-G; Bronze Medal Super Combined
2008 Paralympic Summer Games – Gold Medal Wheelchair BasketballCareer Highlights
2014 U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 1st Downhill and Super-G
2011 Parapan American Games – Gold Medal!
2011 World Champion – Downhill Super-G
2011 Paralympic Athlete of the Year
2011 Colorado Sports Woman of the Year
2011 NWBA National Champion
Three-Time ESPY Nominee (2010, 2011, 2012)
2009 National Champion (Downhill and Super-G)
2007 Parapan American Games – Gold MedalFun Facts
Graduated from University of Arizona with Education degree; Two years later, obtained Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from University of Alabama
Advocate for people with disabilities with a goal to develop community involvement programs and Collegiate Scholarship programs in under developed countries
In May, 2014, inducted into Warner Brothers “Superman Hall of Heroes” in the inaugural class of real-life heroes