Tags: amy purdy | amputee | dancing with the stars

Amy Purdy Amputee: Second on 'DWTS' but First in Hearts of Fans (Video)

Image: Amy Purdy Amputee: Second on 'DWTS' but First in Hearts of Fans (Video) Actress Amy Purdy and dancer Derek Hough, "Dancing with the Stars" finalists, appear on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in New York.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Thursday, 22 May 2014 10:58 AM

Amy Purdy, the double-amputee Paralympic snowboarder, may have finished second to Meryl Davis in this week's "Dancing With the Stars" finale but the 34-year-old won over a whole new legion of fans with her unwavering determination.

Purdy, who won a bronze medal in snowboarding at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, gave Davis a run for her money in the "DWTS" finals with her dance partner Derek Hough. She and Hough even scored perfect 10s from the show's three-judge panel in their final dance together, ESPN reported.

Purdy, who lost both legs below the knee after she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis at 19, and Hough wowed viewers and judges alike throughout the competition, in which the star used a series of prosthetic legs.

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"It's just about getting out there and getting out of your comfort zone, trying something new, trying something that you never thought you could do," Purdy told "DWTS" cohost Erin Andrews on part one of the finale Monday night. "If you work hard enough and you're passionate enough, I think anything's possible."

Purdy later gushed about her dancing experience on "Dancing With the Stars" on Twitter the next day.

Donna Kauffman, a USA Today columnist, wrote that rooting for Purdy was easy because her performances were so awe-inspiring.

"Watching Amy and Derek has also been a life-altering experience, and emotional for completely different reasons," she wrote. "Though her dancing has been hampered somewhat for obvious reasons and she owes an enormous debt to her partner, Derek, for choreographing her so beautifully, what she's accomplished is nothing short of miraculous. Given that, it's hard not to root for her to be in that final spot as well."

Melissa Stockwell, Iraq War veteran and champion paratriathlete, told Chicago's WLS-TV that she has been glued to the television to watch Purdy ever since she's been on "DWTS."

"She is graceful, she is out there, she does as much as anybody else," she said this week. "It gives everyone hope, it shows what is possible and what someone is capable of. The technology is phenomenal. If someone wants to do something there is a device out here to help them make it happen."

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