Inspiration meets whiskey Saturday in Keystone | SummitDaily.com

Inspiration meets whiskey Saturday in Keystone

If your life were a book and you its author, how would you want your story to go?

When it comes to hosting motivational speakers, there might be no better venue than TED Talks, and in the world of TED Talks, there might be none better than Amy Purdy.

In her speech for TEDxOrangeCoast, appropriately titled "Living Beyond Limits," Purdy opens by asking the aforementioned question, and her motivational exhibition stands as the No. 1-recommended video to incoming TEDxOC speakers looking to formulate their own presentations, according to a news release.

This Saturday, Purdy will again be the featured speaker as she stops by Warren Station in Keystone for the fourth and final installment of this year's Distilled Speaker Series.

The four-part Distilled series mixes spirit tasting, expert analysis and good food with great speakers, and this weekend is set to bring in the inspirational snowboarder who lost both feet when her legs were amputated below the knee.

Not one to dwell on the loss, Purdy has overcome her disability to become, among so many other things, a best-selling author, the founder of Adaptive Action Sports and one of the top 15 most marketable para-athletes in the world.

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Growing up loving nature, health and travel, Purdy began experiencing flu-like symptoms at age 19 and was rushed to the hospital in a state of septic shock.

Diagnosed with Meningococcal Meningitis, a vaccine-preventable bacterial infection, Purdy was given less than a 2 percent chance of survival, put on life support and placed in a medically induced coma.

After multiple blood transfusions and the removal of her ruptured spleen, doctors had to amputate both of Purdy's legs below the knee.

"Think about what frostbite does to your body — that's similar to how meningitis poisons the blood flow to your extremities on its way to killing you," she told ESPN for a story published in December 2014. "I spent the next year fighting to walk again, enduring multiple amputation surgeries on my feet."

After losing both her feet, Purdy responded by challenging herself to move past the tragedy and attain goals that most people with both legs would think of as unachievable.

Now, she is one of the top-ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world, a 2014 Sochi Paralympic bronze medalist and currently the only double-leg amputee competing in snowboarding at the world-class level, according to the release.

Purdy's never-give-up attitude has opened many other doors for her, too, leading to her being featured in a Madonna music video, landing the lead role in an award-winning independent film and even doing multiple creative modeling projects, including one with musician Nikki Sixx in which prosthetic legs were custom-made for Purdy from steel to look like ice picks.

Additionally, Purdy has evolved into a powerful inspirational and motivational speaker with her story and photos being shared with millions.

In 2012 she and her longtime boyfriend, Daniel Gale, raced around the world on CBS's "The Amazing Race," but that wouldn't be the last TV appearance for Purdy. That's because in spring 2014 Purdy finished as runner-up on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

Purdy also recently completed her first book, a New York Times best seller titled "On My Own Two Feet," and she has also recently shared her story alongside Oprah Winfrey, as part of Oprah's "The Life You Want Tour."

Purdy was also featured in a Super Bowl commercial, aired just after kickoff, that depicted her running, dancing, snowboarding and modeling, all to Mohammad Ali's famous "How Great I Am" speech.

Despite all that, however, Purdy is most proud of co-founding Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization based out of Copper that helps those with permanent disabilities get involved in action sports, with Gale, now her husband, according to the release, and a portion of ticket sales from Saturday's "Women and Whiskey" event in Keystone will be donated back to Adaptive Action Sports.

Alongside Purdy on Saturday will be whiskey expert and Kentuckian Megan Breier, who will be discussing the unique whiskey selections for the evening, which include Jim Beam Double Oak, Basil Hayden's, Makers Mark Private Select and Jim Beam Distillers Masterpiece.

Tasting tickets include samples of all four whiskeys and start at $30 in advance on WarrenStation.com.

In addition, "keynote speaker only" tickets are available for $15 in advance or $20 the day of the event.

People must be at least 21 years of age to participate in the tasting. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the presentations kick off 30 minutes after that.

If you go

What: Distilled Speaker and Spirits Series presents “Women and Whiskey”

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Warren Station at 164 Ida Belle Drive, Keystone

Info: The fourth and final installment of the Distilled series will feature Paralympics medalist, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Adaptive Action Sports Amy Purdy, alongside Megan Breier, a certified spirits specialists. Tasting tickets include samples of four whiskeys and start at $30 in advance. Speaker-only tickets are available for $15 in advance. For more, go to WarrenStation.com.

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