Amy Purdy has an amazing story — she almost died from a form of meningitis at age 19, and lost both kidneys, her spleen, and her legs below the knee, but still continued her love for snowboarding. She recently won bronze at the Paralympics while rehearsing for Dancing With the Stars Season 18.

Amy is an inspiring woman, and a beautiful dancer, but is she being judged as an equal peer of the other DWTS competitors? In a new interview, the L.A Times asked Amy about the people who complain that she's being held to a different standard than the other stars. Does she think that's true?

Amy answered, "Actually, each of the judges has said to me the exact opposite, that they will judge me based on my dancing and not on my story.  In fact, that was the very first thing Len [Goodman] said to me and frankly, that’s how I want it. I’ve never wanted sympathy votes in anything I do in my life. I simply do the things that inspire me, be that snowboarding, designing clothing or dancing.  As for how do I respond to those who want to throw stones, well, I don’t.  I’ve said it many times before, I don’t spend much time or energy on things I can’t control and how people feel the judges judge me definitely falls into that category."

No one’s throwing stones — if anything she’s being protected from a lot of the stones DWTS competitors face. Len Goodman, for one, does seem to be judging what he sees, and on Disney Week 5 he told Amy and Derek Hough (as choreographer) he would've liked to see more of their Cinderella Waltz in hold. That's the kind of fair constructive criticism every couple should expect and even welcome, to know how to improve. But Carrie Ann Inaba openly admitted she changed her lift rules specifically for Amy, due to her "unique circumstance" because of her prosthetics, and defended the choice in her blog. And Donny Osmond gave the Waltz a 10, based on what sounded mostly like inspiration from her personal story.

Amy is more than just a woman dancing with prosthetics. It would be nice to be able to get to know more about her — her likes, her dislikes, her personality — instead of having her DWTS story be completely defined by her legs. We get how much Amy inspires others, now tell us more about those things that inspire her.

Source: L.A Times