Katy Sullivan

Katy Sullivan - 2012 Athleta Sponsored AthleteKATY SULLIVAN was born without either of her lower legs.   At the time, there was no way of knowing whether she’d even be able to use her legs at all, and a doctor told Katy’s mother, “The world doesn’t need another athlete, but she’ll find other things to be good at.” But, with her family’s support, Katy grew up believing she could do anything and everything, and her family made sure to never treat her differently from anyone else. As it turned out, that doctor was right about her limitation in sports for quite some time, as it was very difficult for Katy to keep up with other kids. But, undeterred, she started to search for those other things in life where she could excel.

As a young adult Katy discovered theater and dedicated her life to acting, attending Webster University’s Theatre Conservatory where she spent four years training in acting, voice, movement, improv, dialects, and even gymnastics. She was involved in numerous productions with both starring and supporting roles — she even performed in a production where one character was an amputee; she didn’t play that role. Her acting career has taken her all over the country, performing stage in Chicago, film in New York, and TV in Los Angeles. Katy continues to act and has appeared in numerous independent films and on television shows, including an NBC pilot I’m with Stupid and their hit show My Name is Earl. She recently starred in The Long Red Road directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. She has many exciting projects in the works today, including a pilot entitled Close Enough to Perfect and a film project this coming summer, Recalculating.

But it was Katy’s move to sunny California that brought not only success in her acting career, but it opened the door to an athletic chapter in her life that she never saw coming. With the support of Hanger Prosthetics, she began running on custom-made carbon fiber sprinting legs.  It took time, and a great deal of training, but she learned how to run and it has been a whirlwind ever since. Upon completing her first event in 2007, the 100m, Katy has been blazing a trail for women amputees around the world. She is the first bilateral above knee amputee in the world, male or female, to compete internationally in track, which means she has to compete against women who have one leg.  In a very short amount of time, Katy has qualified for the US Paralympic Track Teamand has represented the USA at multiple international events. She is the current US Champion in the 100m, the fastest woman in the Western Hemisphere and ranked 5th in the world among women who have a whole ‘leg up’ on her. She now has her sights set on the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. And if what she’s accomplished so far is any indication, she’ll be blazing her own trail there, too.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS & CREDENTIALS:

  • Member of the US Paralympic Track Team
  • Current National Champion in the 100m
  • First competed on Team USA in 2007 at the Para Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • First bilateral above knee amputee to compete in the world (male or female)
  • Competes against women who have one leg (and meets the same standards)

2012 INTENTIONS:

  • Host free fitness classes at the Athleta Los Angeles store
  • Keep status on Team USA and represent the US at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London this September
  • Set a new personal record by shaving off at least .5 seconds from her current PR of 17.68 s
  • Win a medal at the World Championship Games (in 2011 she was .30 seconds from the bronze medal)

WEBSITE: Katysullivan.net »