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  • Age
    36
  • Occupation
    Commercial Insurance Territory Manager
  • Company
    Liberty Mutual
  • Location
    Orange County, Calif.

As a child growing up in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Allison Compton never allowed her prosthetic leg to sideline her from the hometown sport—playing volleyball on the beach, in elementary school, and even on her competitive Division 1 high school team. Compton wasn’t just determined, she was also better than nearly all of her classmates with two functioning legs. Proving that on a global stage, however, turned out to be more challenging than even she anticipated. For starters, there was no U.S. Paralympics volleyball team for women. So, at age 18, Compton, who was born with an undeveloped femur, began training with the men’s team instead. By the 2000 Sydney Games, she was good enough to make the official men’s roster—but was denied the chance to compete based on her gender. Compton didn’t give up. With the help of USA Volleyball and the United States Olympic Committee, she formed a women’s Paralympic volleyball team in time for Athens in 2004. In those games, Team USA took home the bronze, and it has medaled in every Paralympic since. Compton went on to co-found the Orange County chapter of a charity called Heels2Heal, which helps women and children who are abused or critically ill or who face other serious challenges—and today, she gives motivational lectures on diversity and disability as well.

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