Creating a World Where Our
Community Thrives at National Conference
By Jerrica Thurman, Chief Strategy & Communications Officer
The Amputee Coalition is happy to present a stellar lineup of keynote speakers at our 2023 National Conference, themed “Elevate Together Towards Tomorrow.” Each speaker will challenge our limb loss and limb difference community to embrace change and new opportunities.
Mike Schultz will keynote the Opening General Session from 3-4:30pm on Aug. 2.
Known in the racing community as “Monster” Mike, from St. Cloud, Minnesota, Mike Schultz has transformed the world of adaptive action sports in more ways than one. In 2008, Mike suffered a terrible knee injury during a professional snowmobile competition, resulting in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. Shortly after his accident, Mike engineered a high-performance prosthetic knee to get him back in action. Within seven months, Mike was again competing on the national stage at the ESPN X Games, receiving a silver medal in adaptive motocross. In 2010, Mike founded BioDapt Inc. after realizing the need for advancements in high-impact adaptive sports prostheses.
Ten years and 10 X Games gold medals after the crash, Mike added one of his biggest accomplishments, bringing home gold and silver in snowboarding from the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Another equally great honor, Mike was voted as the U.S. flag bearer for the Paralympic opening ceremonies. Learn more about Mike at monstermikeschultz.com.
Amy Purdy will keynote the Closing General Session from 10 a.m.-noon on Aug. 5.
At 19, after experiencing progressively worsening flu-like symptoms after a long day at work, Amy Purdy was rushed to the hospital in septic shock. She was given less than a 2% chance of survival, put on life support, and placed into a medically induced coma. After multiple blood transfusions and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors diagnosed Amy with meningococcal meningitis.
Due to septic shock, doctors had to amputate her legs below the knee. Having lost kidney function, she later received a donated kidney, from her father, a week before her 21st birthday.
Just three months after her kidney transplant, she entered the USASA National Snowboarding Championship, where she won medals in three events. Today, she is one of the pioneers of the U.S. Paralympic Snowboarding Team and a three-time Paralympic medalist.
Amy’s creativity, positive outlook, and never-give up attitude have opened doors to countless other opportunities, including being featured in a Madonna music video, being the lead actress in an award-winning independent film, competing with her husband on the iconic TV show “The Amazing Race,” and very nearly winning Season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars” with her partner, Derek Hough.
Over the years, Amy has evolved into a powerful motivational keynote speaker. Amy and her husband founded Adaptive Action Sports, which trains athletes with disabilities. Their organization is top in the U.S. for developing Paralympic snowboarders. Learn more about Amy at amypurdy.com.