Alana Nichols


Event: Alpine Skiing; Wheelchair Basketball; Paracanoe, KL2
Date of Birth: March 21, 1983
Birthplace: Farmington, New Mexico
Hometown: Farmington, New Mexico
Current Residence: Wheat Ridge, Colorado
High School: Farmington HS ‘01
College: University of Arizona '06, Special Education Rehab and School Psychology; University of Alabama ‘08 Kinesiology (Master’s)

2015 Paralympic Team

Recent Results - Paracanoe

  • 2016 ICF Paracanoe World Championships - 8th overall in KL2 Women's 200m
  • 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships - 9th overall in KL2 Women's 200m
  • 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Cup 2 - 3rd (BRONZE) in KL2 Women's 200m

Career Highlights - Alpine Skiing

  • 2014: Paralympic Winter Games, silver downhill, 4th giant slalom; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 2nd slalom; Huntsman Cup, 1st giant slalom, 2nd slalom; World Cup Panorama, 2nd downhill, 2nd super-G, 3rd super combined; World Cup Copper Mountain, 5th giant slalom, 5th slalom; NorAm Aspen, 1st downhill; NorAm Winter Park, 1st giant slalom, 2nd slalom; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 1st downhill and super-G
  • 2013: World Cup St. Mortiz, 3rd giant slalom, 4th slalom; World Cup Sestriere, 3rd giant slalom run 1, 2nd giant slalom run 2, 4th slalom; NorAm Winter Park, 2nd giant slalom and super-G
  • 2012: NorAm Copper Mountain, 1st giant slalom run 1, 3rd giant slalom run 2, 2nd super-G run 1, 1st super-G run 2
  • 2011: IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, 1st downhill and super-G; Paralympic Athlete of the Year
  • 2010: Paralympic Winter Games, gold downhill and giant slalom, silver super-G, bronze super combined
  • 2009: U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Championships, 1st downhill and super-G

Career Highlights - Wheelchair Basketball  

  • 2012: Paralympic Games, 4th
  • 2011: Parapan American Games, 1st; NWBA National Champion; Colorado SportsWoman of the Year
  • 2008: Paralympic Games, 1st
  • 2007: Parapan American Games, 1st
  • 2006: IWBF World Championships, 2nd
  • Three-Time ESPY Nominee (2010, 2011, 2012)


Alana 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, as she began playing wheelchair basketball just two years later.

Her talent in the sport ultimately took her to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where she and Team USA earned gold. Shortly after the Beijing Games, Nichols moved to Colorado and picked up adaptive alpine skiing through the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park. At the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, Nichols earned two gold medals, one silver and one bronze in alpine skiing events, becoming the first female athlete in history to win gold medals in both the summer and winter Paralympic Games.     

Nichols is the daughter of David and Susan Nichols and was raised by grandparents Dave and Joan Vilven. Nichols’ hobbies include skiing, paddle boarding and yoga.

  • How you got into the sport:  I learned how to adaptive Surf in Hawaii in 2014 and fell in love with Paddling. I am now in San Diego living the dream!

  • Role Model:  Patty Cisneros (2X Gold Medalist Paralympic Basketball)

  • Favorite Quote: “Don’t Compare; Do what you can with what you have, where you are”

  • Sponsors: Visa, Nike, The Hilton, AT&T, BMW, Deloitte, The Hartford, Citi, Oakley, USG, Highmark

  • Website:

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