Laurie Stephens was born and raised in New England and hails from Wenham, Massachusetts. Stephens was born with spina bifida and found skiing at age 12 when she joined a group of athletes with disabilities who skied at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. This experience led her to start racing at age 15 and join Chris Devlin-Young’s New England Disabled Ski Team. In 2004 at age 20, Stephens had already become the overall and giant slalom world cup champion in her rookie season. Her first two seasons led to her being named the Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year in 2006 by the United States Olympic Committee and nominated for the 2006 ESPY for Best Athlete with a Disability. During her time on the team, Laurie has cemented herself as one of the most dominant sit skiers on the World Cup circuit. She is a five-time Paralympian, seven-time Paralympic Medalist (two gold, two silver, three bronze), and a two-time World Champion. Stephans previously held two U.S. records for para-swimming in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke. When she isn’t on the snow, Laurie loves to read and knit.