The word 'superwoman' is thrown around way too often, but here's an athlete who completely deserves the description. Amy Palmiero-Winters is a 37-year-old mother of two, coach, mentor, and became a below-the-knee amputee as the result of a motorcycle accident in 1994. Now, she's made history.
On January 1st, she became the first female athlete with a prosthetic leg to win the title in a race. And it wasn't any old race either.
Starting at 9 a.m. on December 31, 2009 and finishing at 9 a.m. on New Years' Day, Amy beat the overall male winner in the Arizona Road Racers "Run to the Future" twenty-four-hour ultramarathon by 14 miles and bettered the second-place female finisher by over 36 miles. Based on this performance, she's qualified for the United States able-bodied 24-hour run team that will be competing at the world championship in France in May. This is the first time an amputee runner will be running against able-bodied counterparts on a world championship team.
Prior to losing her leg, Amy ran track in high school and completed the Boston Marathon in three hours and 16 minutes. These days she's a role model, not just for people with disabilities, but for anyone who strives to overcome limitations. She has proven that despite physical challenges, family, and work commitments, if you believe that you can do something, you can. In 2004, despite only having a walking prosthesis and being 5 months pregnant with her second child, Amy entered the Silver Strand Marathon and came in 2nd place in her division.
This girl doesn't just stop at running either. Oh no. In the summer of 2005, two months after her daughter was born, Amy decided to try her hand at her first triathlon in NYC. She hadn't been swimming competitively since high school, she still only had a walking prosthesis and she had to use a borrowed bike from her employer for the event, but she placed 3rd in her division!
Amy is a proud member of Team A Step Ahead, a team of amputee athletes from around the world who compete in events including the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, multiple marathons, road races around the world, and the Paralympic Games. For additional information on Team A Step Ahead visit www.astepaheadonline.com.