It’s sixth grade picture day and Alana has the best shag haircut, braces, a vest and a turtleneck.
She has no idea her future will have more snapshots and stunning looks…
If you don’t already know this red-carpet, slope-shredding, B-ball playing, gold-medalling GAL…you should!
Alana Nichols spends her free time planning new shenanigans, watching TV or catching up on emails, but there isn’t much free time because to win 3 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze at the Paralympics, you gotta work out daily, be active and travel A LOT!
Alana grew up in Farmington, NM with her grandmother, brother and 2 sisters. She was injured at the T11/12 level while snowboarding when she was 17 years old and went on to graduate from the Universities of Arizona (B.A. Education) and Alabama (M.A. Kinesiology). It wasn’t long after her injury that Alana started playing wheelchair basketball and then headed back to the slopes. She’s competitive, edgy and athletic.
With her determination and the support of family, friends, and peers Alana has competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics. She was nominated for an ESPY award this year and went down the red carpet High Roller-style! Alana is kind of… a big deal!
But, really, Alana is just a down-to-earth, adventure-seeking girl who can’t think of anything more valuable than spending time with her family.
Alana Nichols. Brains, Beauty and Skill.
Status (single, married, etc.): Single and ready to mingle!
Current residence: Winter Park, CO
Do you have a mentor? Who? Why?: Yes, Sally Edwards. I grew up without a mother and Sally stepped into that void and showed me love and compassion and how to be a powerful spiritual woman.
Favorite band/kind of music/musician: Love acoustic/unplugged soulful southern blues– Something like if Ben Harper and Ray La Montagne had a love child with Taj Mahal and Amos Lee and maybe the doctor that assisted with the birth was Etta James
Favorite restaurant/food? : LOVE THAI GREEN CURRY!
Favorite beverage? Love a frosty cold PASTEL Purple Gatorade (not the dark purple one)
Do you own a car? What make? A 2005 Toyota Tacoma:)
Where did you go on your last vacation? Hawaii-The big Island! It blew my mind! We went sit down paddle boarding and snorkeled with wild dolphins
What’s your dream job? I would LOVE to work for a non-profit that teaches kids with disabilities in developing countries how to play sports or play anything…just how to play!
Hidden talents? Hmm, I can whistle really loud and make my bend my tongue to look like a flower?.
What irritates you? LOUD FLUSHING TOILETS! HATE THEM! Why do they have to be so violently loud sometimes?
What do you consider awesome? God. Sunsets/rises. Mountains. People who do things that they authentically thought they couldn’t do. Seeing people go outside their comfort zone and taking risks.
Where would you love to live? New Zealand
What do you wish you had more time for? Having my grandma teach me how to play the piano.
If I take a look inside your refrigerator what would I find? Hummus, Veggies, Soy milk, Salsa, Green chili, Greek yogurt, pasta sauce, whole wheat wraps and a ton of condiments.
Dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? That man in the Bible that was paralyzed that God told to get up and walk
What would you ask them? What was going on in your head when He told you that!? And how does it feel to be healed?
During your child hood what was your favorite cartoon? David the Gnome.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? Jeez…probably over 15 but not 20 (I hope not 20)
Your default karaoke song? I’ve only done Karaoke about 5 times and have never done the same song twice. Last song I sang- Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin
Type of gum you like? Trident Citrus (The Orange kind)
A Long term goal: To be completely prepared to compete at my best in the slalom portion of the 2014 Sochi Russia Paralympic Games
Anything else you want to tell us? One reason I have been successful at what I do is because I tried to make progress everyday towards a specific goal/dream I set. If you can think it/dream it…it’s so possible and even if it was just very small, work towards that goal and all of those small accomplishments will lead to something much bigger…whether it was in sports, relationships, spirituality, school or work….do YOUR thing and do it the best YOU can:) and take risks!
If you would like to connect with Alana, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll put you in touch!