Before she was a year old, Aimee Mullins had both legs amputated below the knee. Her family doctor said she’d never learn to walk. At the age of 19, she set world records in the 100m dash and long jump.
That was Aimee Mullins the athlete, running on early prototypes of now-commonplace carbon-fibre legs. Since the 1996 Paralympics, she’s worked as a fashion model, a speaker and an actress, while making her way into more sports and culture publications than we can count.
But what most bios may miss about Aimee, whom I had the pleasure to meet at TEDMED, is that she’s more than a jock or some sappy “never give up!!” Hallmark greeting card.
Standing between a slender 172cm and 185cm — depending on her particular mood — Aimee is that girl you knew in high school who was too pretty and popular for you but never felt it necessary to point these facts out. (Maybe because she’s a not-so-closeted geek who rarely misses the opportunity to make reference to sci-fi classics like 2001, Robocop and Terminator — especially when referencing herself.)
It’s our privilege to have Aimee guest editing this week, exploring where technology has and will take the human body. If she’s what it means to be “disabled”, then why are the “able-bodied” among us so jealous? [Image by Howard Schatz]