Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quite an impressive Bio of Aimee Mullins

Aimee Mullins' legs were amputated at the age of one, but with the help of the most advanced artificial legs, she has set world records in running the 100-meter, 200-meter dash and the long jump at the Paralympics. Off the field, Mullins is working on a successful modeling and film career. People magazine named her one of the "50 Most Beautiful People."

Aimee Mullins defies conventional description, both on and off the track. As an athlete, she holds world records in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash and long jump. Off the track, she was one of three nationally chosen high school students to receive full scholarships awarded by the U.S. Department Defense due to academic performance and interviews. In May 1998, she graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, a dean's list major in history and diplomacy. She is a model, actress and speaker, making personal appearances around the country and giving talks to companies, charities and schools. The fact that she is bilateral below-the knee amputee, born without fibula bones in both shins, has not hindered her success in any way.

In August of 1995, Mullins decided she wanted to run track and field for Georgetown University. She had participated in athletics all her life, from skiing to soccer to softball and had always been able to compete against non-disabled kids. So when she called the university's renowned track and field coach, Frank Gagliano (who has coached 5 Olympians), there was no question as to whether she would become a part of his program. She told Gagliano she wanted to train for the1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. The following spring, she was a member of the Hoya women's track team, competing against able-bodied athletes. Her times were behind the competition, but in her first collegiate meet, Aimee ran the 100 meters in 16.70 seconds. In the ensuing year, her times dropped to 15.77 in the 100 and 34.06 in the 200, both unofficial world records in her class. She is the first disabled member of a Division I track team and competed in the '96 Games. Her latest challenge was the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.

Since the Olympics in Atlanta, Mullins' life has changed dramatically. News of her accomplishments and courage spread into the hearts of millions of people. She has been featured in many forms of media, including features in Sports Illustrated for Women, NBC’s Dateline, The Rosie O'Donell Show, Parade, Esquire, Jane and Cosmopolitan. She was selected as one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." She won the "Disabled Female Athlete of the Year" from USA Track and Field, was 1997's "Women of Distinction" from the National Association of Women in Education, a nominee for ESPN's Arthur Ashe Award for courage to be presented at the ESPY Awards show in 1998. Mullins was named to the Disabled Sports, USA Advisory Council and was nominated by Sen. Max Cleland for a position on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Most recently Aimee has embarked on a new career as an actress. Her 2004/2005 film credits include:

"MARVELOUS" with Michael Shannon (soon to be the seen in William Friedkin's "Bug"), Martha Plimpton, 2005 Tony-winner Amy Ryan, Ewen Bremner ("Trainspotting") and Annabella Sciorra;

"QUID PRO QUO" with Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga (winner of LA FIlm Critics Award for best actress in "Down to the Bone"); and

"SEPTEMBER," Oliver Stone's film with Nicolas Cage, Maggie Gyllenhal, Maria Bello and Michael Pena.

Her passion for running is equaled only by her drive and determination to make a difference in whatever she pursues. She says, "I want to do projects that challenge people's ideas of beauty and the myth that disabled people are less capable, less interesting. I want to expose people to disability as something that they can't pity or fear or closet, but something that they accept and maybe want to emulate. To me, beauty is when people radiate that they like themselves."

Awards and Accomplishments
2005 – Named president-elect of the Women’s Sports Foundation
2005 – featured in film, “Marvelous,” starring Martha Plimpton, Amy Ryan, Mike Shannon, Ewen Bremner, Annabella Sciorra; “Quid Pro Quo;” and upcoming Oliver Stone film

2005 – featured in film, “Quid Pro Quo,”produced by Mark Cuban, starring Nick Stahl, Vera Farmiga, Kate Burton, James Frain,

2004 -- Named to HBO’s list of “Up and Coming” actors

2003 – Named to Rolling Stone Magazine’s annual “Hot List”

2003 – Lead actress in Agatha Christie’s Poirot drama series (A&E/Granada), starring opposite David Suchet, Toby Stephens

2003 -- Star of acclaimed contemporary artist Matthew Barney’s film entitled “Cremaster 3” presented by the Guggenheim Museum and Palm Pictures

2002 – Featured in the Track and Field Hall of Fame, to be opened in New York City in 2003

2001 – Included in Smithsonian presentation of “Game Face: What Does A Female Athlete Look Like?”

2001 – Named as one of Sports Illustrated’s “Coolest Girls In Sports”

2001 – Named to Board of Trustees, Vice President, for non-profit organization “Just One Break” (JOB), founded by Eleanor Roosevelt, Orin Lehman, Howard Rusk, and Bernard Baruch

2000 – Received honorary PhD, Doctor of Humane Letters, from St. John Fisher College

2000 – Included in permanent exhibit of The Women’s Museum (Dallas, TX) as one of the “Greatest American Women of the 20th Century,” sports division

2000 – Named to Advisory Board for Oxygen-Markle Pulse by Ms. Geraldine Laybourne (CEO, Oxygen Media) and Ms. Zoe Baird (President, Markle Foundation)

2000 – Named one of the “Top 100 Irish-Americans” by Irish-America Magazine (1999, 1998 also)

1999 – Named one of “The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People Magazine

1999 – Contributing writer to Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, US and 12 international editions

1999 – Named one “The Year’s 10 Gutsiest Women” by Jane Magazine

1999 – featured speaker at International Design Conference, Sydney, Australia

1998 – Co-founder, “H.O.P.E.” (Helping Others Perform with Excellence), a non-profit organization to provide means, training, and opportunity for persons with disabilities to compete in sports

1998 – Presented with the Tiffany & Co. “Shining Star” Award for raising social awareness of diversity issues

1998 -- Collaborated on award-winning interactive design project with San Diego Children’s Museum to promote non-traditional thinking

1998 – featured speaker at International Design Conference, Aspen, CO

1998 – invited to speak at “TED” and “TEDMED” conferences (other speakers included Bill Bradley, Oliver Stone, Rev. Billy Graham)

1998 – Special Achievement Award, National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation

1998 – “ESPY” Finalist, Arthur Ashe Award, ESPN Awards Show

1998 – Featured in Esquire Magazine’s “Women We Love” issue

1997 – “Woman of Distinction” Award Recipient, National Association of Women in Education

1997 – “Disabled Female Athlete of the Year,” USA Track and Field

1997 – “Top 40 Under 40” list, Irish-Echo Magazine

1997 – Finalist for “ARETE” Awards, ESPN

1997 – Named to Disabled Sports, USA Advisory Council

1997 – Nominated to President’s Council on Physical Fitness by U.S. Senator Max Cleland

1996 – Member of Georgetown University Women’s Track team

1996 – First disabled member to compete in NCAA in US History

1996 – Only double-below-the-knee amputee to compete on a Division I track team

1996 – World Record Holder, 100 meters

1996 – World Record Holder, Long Jump

1996 – World Record Holder, 200 meters

1996 – Olympian, competed in Paralympics, Atlanta, GA

1993 – Awarded full academic scholarship from U.S. Department of Defense

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