Toyota, Sienna SE, 2020
Surfing , Free skiing, Adventuring
MEET 'N GREET
Alana Nichols grew up in Farmington, New Mexico living an active lifestyle by participating in multiple athletics and having a passion for skiing and snowboarding. In 2000 during a ski trip in Colorado, she suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury while snowboarding, paralyzing her from the waist down. Thinking her athletic career was over, she experienced a wheelchair basketball game her freshman year at the University of New Mexico. The physical and competitive gameplay reignited her athletic endeavors and later she transferred to the University of Arizona to participate in the intercollegiate program for disabled sports. She later received her master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Alabama.
Debuting at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, she won the gold competing in women’s wheelchair basketball. But she wouldn’t stop there, as she went on to compete in the next four consecutive Paralympic Games, winning 2 more gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze. She has competed in wheelchair basketball, Paralympic alpine monoskiing, and at her final Paralympic Games in Rio, paracanoeing.
Alana may have retired from her Paralympic career, but while in the mix of training for her multiple events, she developed a new passion for surfing that which, like most of the things she does, she excels. She has competed in the ISA Worlds Adaptive Surfing Championship in 2015, placing 7th in an all-male field in the upright division. With her beautiful newly born baby boy Gunnar and her husband Roy Tuscany, she will continue surfing, working to implement adaptive surfing into the 2024 games, being an amazing athlete, and even better mother and person.
Favorite Place in the Wild
Arches National Park
For 12 years I drove a Toyota Tacoma with a crew cab (opposite opening door) that allowed me to pull my whole chair in and out of my truck (without having to break down the chair) Now I drive a Toyota Sienna with a sliding door that allows me to do the same… its everything when it comes to jumping in and out of the vehicle as fast as possible to pump gas, snap a picture or get some snacks!
What's your origin story? How did you start out?
After being adopted by my grandparents at 5 years old, I was given a second chance at life by being introduced to sports. I love to move and be mobile so after I became paralyzed that was my biggest challenge; moving again! I am grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had to express myself through movement, mostly surfing and skiing!
How do you like giving back? What's the cause you're passionate about or your favorite non-profit/organization?
I love helping folks reach their fullest potential. I work with Then Highfives Foundation to teach people with new spinal cord or brain injuries how to rediscover their love of the outdoors by participating in events through highfives.
Nissan 200 SX
Go-to travel/road snack:
Beef Jerkey, unsweet ice tea, salt, and pepper sunflower seeds
IF YOU COULD STAND IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES...
Lakey Peterson (pro surfer) because she rips and Id love to stand up and surf!
What would your TED talk be about?
I did a ted talk! about being a boss!
What would you be doing in an alternate life or timeline?
I would be a pro surfer and mountain climber.