Aimee Mullins (born July 20 1976 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American athlete, actress, and fashion model who first became famous for her athletic accomplishments. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her lower legs and has become one of the most prominent thinkers on the topic of prosthetic innovation.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Mullins was born with fibular hemimelia (missing fibula bones) and, as a result, had both of her legs amputated below the knee when she was one year old. A graduate ofParkland High School in Allentown and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., she took up sports and acting at an early stage.

Also while at Georgetown, Mullins won a place on the Foreign Affairs internship program, working at The Pentagon. She is in demand around the world to make appearances as a speaker on topics of body, identity, design, and innovation. Her TED conference talks are amongst the most-viewed of all time and have been translated into 41 languages. She is credited as being one of the speakers that inspired Chris Anderson to purchase the TED conference from Richard Saul Wurman.[1]

With her paternal family in County Clare, she is a first generation Irish-American and holds citizenship in both the United States and Ireland.


As a young softball player, she once held the youth league record for stolen bases in softball. She also raced in downhill skiing while in high school. While attending Georgetown University on a full academic scholarship to the prestigious School of Foreign Service there, she competed against able-bodied athletes in NCAA Division I track and field events, and is the first amputee in history, male or female, to compete in the NCAA. She was the first person in the world on the "Cheetah" carbon-fibre sprinting legs, and made that design iconic through her extensive global press coverage. She is widely regarded around the world as a sports pioneer, and was elected to represent all American female athletes from 2007-2009 as President of the Women's Sports Foundation, founded by fellow sports pioneerBillie Jean King.

Sports Illustrated magazine named her one of the "Coolest Girls in Sport".

Mullins competed in the Paralympics in 1996 in Atlanta, in which she ran the T42-46 class 100-meter sprint in 12.88 seconds[2] and jumped 5.14 meters in the F42-46 class long-jump.[3] Before retiring from competitive track and field in 1998, she had set World Records in the 100m, 200m and the long jump.

Honoring her achievement and cultural contribution to sport, Mullins is included as one of the "Greatest Women of the 20th Century" in the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Along with Teresa Edwards, Mullins was appointed Chef de Mission for the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.[4] This role as "leader of the US delegation" is considered to be the greatest honor bestowed on an American by the United States Olympic Committee.

In 2012, she was appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the State Department's Council to Empower Women and Girls Through Sports, according to a State Department fact sheet.

Fashion model[edit]Edit

In 1998, she launched her career as a successful model by starting on the runway. She modelled for British fashion designer Alexander McQueen by opening his London show, on a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs made from solid ash, with integral boots. She continued to be one of his muses until his death in 2010. She is able to change her height between 5 ft 8in and 6 ft 1in by changing her legs.[5] She has been named one of the fifty most beautiful people in the world by People.[6][7]

She has been photographed by many of the world's greatest living photographers, such as Nick KnightSteven KleinBruce WeberWalter ChinInez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Ellen von Unwerth. Her iconic cover of Dazed & Confused magazine in 1998 [8] led to features in fashion magazine staples like Harper's BazaarElleVoguei-DAnotherNumero, and Garage. She was on billboards across America as part of the "25 Years of Non-Uniform Thinking" campaign Kenneth Cole in 2009.[9] She signed a major global contract to be a face of L'Oréal Paris, the world's largest beauty brand, was appointed as a global L'OréalAmbassador February 2011,.[10] She joined fellow ambassadors Jennifer LopezBeyoncéDiane KeatonMilla JovovichClaudia SchifferLaetitia CastaEva LongoriaCheryl Cole,and Rachel Weisz.


In 2002, she starred in Matthew Barney's iconic art film Cremaster 3 as six different characters, most memorably a cheetah woman (the Entered Novitiate and Oonagh MacCumhail). Other film and TV credits includeOliver Stone's World Trade CenterFive Little Pigs (with David Suchet and Aidan Gillen), Naked in a FishbowlQuid Pro Quo(with Vera Farmiga and Nick Stahl) and Marvelous (with Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Ewen Bremner and Martha Plimpton). In the River of Fundament, she continues her collaboration with Matthew Barney by starring as Isis in performances both live and filmed since 2007, with a rumoured release date some time in early 2014. She has roles in in-production titles Young Ones (with Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning and Michael Shannon), The Being Experience (with Terrence Howard, Famke Janssen and Alan Cumming), Rob the Mob (with Nina Arianda, Samira Wiley, Michael Pitt and Andy Garcia), and Desiree Akhavan's debut feature Appropriate Behavior. She is currently shooting a new television show for NBC called Crossbonesopposite John Malkovich.

She appeared on The Colbert Report on April 15, 2010 and declared having 12 pairs of prosthetic legs, with some "in museums".[11]

Films and television[edit]Edit

[1][2]Aimee Mullins watches fellowbilateral amputee Hugh Herr climb the wall at the MIT Media Lab's h2.0 symposium on May 9, 2007*2002 - Cremaster 3 (Cremaster Cycle), film directed by Matthew Barney.

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