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Local woman to represent Huntsville at Paralympics

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Megan Harmon is headed to Sochi on March 2 as one of 10 snowboarders and one of 80 athletes to compete in the Paralympics on the U.S. Team. Megan Harmon is headed to Sochi on March 2 as one of 10 snowboarders and one of 80 athletes to compete in the Paralympics on the U.S. Team.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Her story is truly inspirational. Despite the challenges she faced each day and the great successes she made, Megan Harmon is incredibly humble and determined.

In 2009 she got in a terrible motorcycle wreck and lost her leg because of it. Almost five years later, Megan Harmon will represent the Rocket City and the United States in the Paralympics.

March 12, 2009 is a day that changed Megan Harmon's life forever. It's the day she was headed back to campus on her motorcycle when she was hit by a car near County Line road. The wreck left her with many fractures in her left leg.

"They were trying to save the leg because she was such a young person," recalled Megan's Mom, Cynthia Harmon, "but it turns out she has a genetic hyper-clotting disorder which we were unaware of before then."

Her toes began turning black, forcing doctors to amputate her leg. She spent the following month in the hospital recovering. Megan now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"It was a few months later that I finally got my first prosthetic. I was super motivated to try and to get back to walking again, and I was pretty much walking unassisted within 2 weeks," Megan described.

Megan grew up loving the outdoors, and was always very athletic, spending her time skiing and hiking. She made it her mission to go back to doing those things. Her dad did some research, and found the National Ability Center located in Park City, Utah.

He set up a special ski trip for Megan. She didn't end up skiing because it was just too hard with a prosthetic leg. Instead, she went snowboarding, and ended up loving it.

"At the time, I didn't have any kind of prosthesis for snowboarding. I was just on my regular walking prosthetic leg. It was super tough. I was pretty much falling down the mountain. As soon as I got a prosthetic designed for high-impact sports: snowboarding and wake boarding," described Megan, "as soon as I got that prosthetic, it just changed everything."

Megan went again the next winter, and that's when her life changed again. Travis Thiele, coach of the team, noticed her and her determination. He told her that he wanted her for the team.

Not long after, Megan packed her bags and moved to Utah to be on the National Ability Center's Snowboarding Team. Two years later, she is headed to Sochi to compete in her first Paralympic Games, where snowboarding is making its Paralympic debut.

"I am really excited to have the opportunity to go to the Paralympics, but I'm also definitely nervous," said Megan.

It certainly wasn't easy getting there, but all of her hard work and determination certainly paid off. Megan Harmon is headed to Sochi on March 2 as one of 10 snowboarders and one of 80 athletes to compete in the Paralympics on the U.S. Team.  It's the first time snowboarding is part of the games.

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