The Aussie sit skier showing Aspen Snowmass what spirit is about

A skiing accident in 1992 left Australian, Amanda Boxtel, a paraplegic. On that fateful day, at the age of 24, Amanda’s life took a dramatic turn and her dance on wheels began.

It happened in a split second while downhill skiing – she somersaulted, an electric current ricocheted through her legs, and instantly she knew she was paralyzed. Since sustaining a permanent spinal cord injury, Amanda has become a strong advocate for people with disabilities and has been involved in community and outreach projects that aim to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

While her spinal cord injury took away her ability to walk, it didn’t take away her ability to dream. Amanda is a passionate and dynamic motivational speaker and has been involved in community and outreach projects that aim to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Amanda now stars in Aspen Snowmass web series on mind, body and spirit launched this week.


Q: What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?

A: I will always have an indelible desire to pay it forward and give back to help others – especially if it means helping improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. I have always lived in pursuit of the best quality of life possible. If others can garner wisdom from my journey and live a better life, then I feel like I have contributed and made a difference.

Q: Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?

A: When I’m not working or traveling to fun destinations, I’m recreating outside – downhill skiing, cross country skiing, hand cycling, waterskiing, kite surfing, walking in a wearable robot, or throwing a ball for my golden retriever, Benson.

Q: What would be impossible for you to give up?

A: The most impossible thing to give up would be my health…and then freedom of mobility… along with love, friends, and beauty found in nature.

Q: How old were you when you learned to ski/ride?

A: Twenty-one!

Q: Which of the four Aspen Snowmass mountains is your favorite?

A: Highlands for its high-speed quads that access steep and deep terrain; Snowmass for its vast expansiveness. When I conquered Snowmass, my spirit was renewed.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


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