VIDEO: Aimee Mullins | A Work In Progress | Los Angeles Moth Mainstage 2012 * 2024
VIDEO: Aimee Mullins | A Work In Progress | Los Angeles Moth Mainstage 2012 * 2024

“The only true disability is a crushed spirit.”

Aimee Mullins is a below-the-knee double amputee model and athlete born without fibula in both legs, internationally recognized for excelling in the academic, athletic, and fashion fields.

She is an American athlete, actress, and public speaker. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her legs beneath the knee. She is the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in National Collegiate Athletic Association events, and competed in the Paralympics in 1996 in Atlanta. In 1999, she began modeling, and, in 2002, she began an acting career. She has periodically spoken at conferences, including TED Talks.

Mullins appears periodically as a speaker on topics related to body, identity, design, and innovation. Her TED conference talks have been translated into 42 languages. She is credited as being one of the speakers that inspired Chris Anderson to purchase the TED conference from Richard Saul Wurman. She was named a TED “All-Star” in 2014.

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Aimee Mullins and her experience in athletics

Aimee Mullins is a world record holder, setting marks in the 100 meter dash and the long jump at the 1996 Paralympic Games, an event for which she had the honor of unveiling the official Olympic stamps. She also holds the U.S record in the 200 meter dash and was the only disabled NCAA first division track athlete during her time in college.

Since her lauded runway debut in London at the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 1999 show, Aimee has held the attention of both the fashion media and the world, continually challenging and redefining the industry’s pre-conceived notions of the feminine form and the meaning of the word “beautiful”.

Her life on television and in modeling

Aimee Mullins in 2002, she starred in Matthew Barney’s art film Cremaster 3 as six different characters, including a cheetah woman. Her other film and television credits include roles in World Trade Center, Poirot (S9:E1 Five Little Pigs), Naked in a Fishbowl, Quid Pro Quo, and Marvelous. In the River of Fundament, she continued collaboration with Matthew Barney, starring as Isis in performances both live and filmed since 2007 and released in early 2014. She has performed roles in Young Ones, The Being Experience, Rob the Mob, and the debut feature Appropriate Behavior. She acted in Crossbones, an NBC television show, and in the Netflix series Stranger Things.

She appeared on The Colbert Report on April 15, 2010, and declared having 12 pairs of prosthetic legs, including some “in museums”.

Besides in 1999, modelled for British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, opening his London show on a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs made from solid ash, with integral boots. She is able to change her height between 5 ft 8in and 6 ft 1in by changing her legs. She was on billboards in the U.S. as part of the “25 Years of Non-Uniform Thinking” campaign by Kenneth Cole in 2009. She was a face of L’Oréal Paris and was appointed a global L’Oréal ambassador in 2011.

Woman who inspires by her achievements

She was elected to represent American female athletes from 2007 to 2009 as Women’s Sports Foundation president; the organization was founded by sports pioneer Billie Jean King. She remains a member of both its board of trustees and its athlete advisory panel for the Women Sports Foundation. Sports Illustrated magazine named her one of the “Coolest Girls in Sports”. Mullins was included as one of the “Greatest Women of the 20th Century” in the Women’s Museum in Dallas prior to the museum’s closure.

Along with Teresa Edwards, Mullins was appointed Chef de Mission for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.

In 2012, she was appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the State Department’s Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports.

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