CEWS 2019 MEMBER
Dr. Dani Burt, PT, DPT is a World Adaptive Surfing Champion, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and above knee amputee.
In 2004, Dani was in a motorcycle crash that put her in a coma for 45 days. The toughest time in her life was when she woke up from her coma. She felt hopeless, lost, confused, hurt and missing her right leg. She thought her life was over. Through pure resilience, grit and the love of her community, she soldiered on. Today, she works as a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Sharp Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where she was a patient. She chose that career path because she wants to be there for patients after they go through the darkest moments in their life to show them what is possible.
Dani Burt is also the first known female above knee amputee surfer in the world and one of the first to design a prosthetic surf leg. She has been competing against male competitors since 2010. In 2016, she was crowned the U.S. Adaptive Surfing Champion, defeating male competitors. In 2017, Dani competed in an all women’s division for the first time in the history of adaptive surfing. She was crowned the first ever women’s World Adaptive Surfing Champion at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships. In 2018, Dani competed on Team USA for the fourth consecutive year and took on the role as Co-Captain of Team USA earning the Team their first Team Gold metal in history.
The achievement Dani has been most proud of was advocating for gender equality in adaptive surfing. In 2018, she was able to encourage ISA to rectify it's rules and regulations to exclude gender discrimination. She succeeded in changing the course of history.
Surfing has been the foundation of Dani’s success in life. The ocean has had the power of propelling her forward in life even when she felt like she was drowning. Dani’s mission has always been to advocate for access and equality in surfing.