The fastest female sprinter in the world has no legs from the knee down. Let that sink in for a minute.
Oh… and a few more thing: she’s also a model; an actress; sought-after public speaker; and, of course, an Olympic athlete. Today, we’ll meet Aimee Mullins, the woman with the famous “cheetah legs”, engineered prosthesis designed by studying how the legendary cats get their speed.
So we pose the question: how disabled is she really? If you ask Ms. Mullins, she’ll tell you she’s pro-abled.
In the late 1990s, Aimee Mullins took to the then-lesser-known TED stage and gave a talk on this exact thing, and her career took off. Today we’re going to see where Aimee was at in 2009 when she took the TEDtalk stage a second time.
This is one of the first TED talks recommend to people if I discover they have never heard of TED.com. Let’s have a look…
Ms. Mullins was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her lower legs. Now she’s become one of the most prominent thinkers on the topic of prosthetic innovation. We think her life’s story inspires some new questions about what disabilities make possible. What if we thought as much about innovative potential as we do about just coping when we solve problems for people with every sort of disability?
But Aimee’s true passion today is reminding the world that “disabled” is a silly word. Today, Aimee’s efforts are bringing prosthetic design into the world of art, engineering, and possibility, challenging creative innovators to make prosthetic devices functional, attractive and uniquely fabulous.
Here’s a short bonus before we close today: Aimee Mullins’ take on The Aesthetics of Prosthetics:
I can’t resist mentioning that Ms. Mullins demonstrates our Ever Widening Circles motto perfectly. She reminds us that this is still an amazing world!
If you’d like to learn more about possibility from thought leaders in many other fields, head to our Favorite TED Talk page, or scroll down to the bottom of this page for some articles I can recommend that will put a spring in your step.
Stay open, curious and hopeful!
~ Dr. Lynda
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