With the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea just a few months away, American athletes from a wide array of cold-weather sports are busily preparing to compete for berths on Team USA. During a Nov. 16 exclusive interview, I checked in with Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety and six-time Paralympic medalist Alana Nichols to find out about their respective sporting journeys, and with Group Vice President and General Manager of Toyota Jack Hollis to hear about his company's role in the games.

Alana Nichols' comeback story

Nichols, who was a star athlete in high school and planned to attend college on a softball scholarship, suffered a devastating snowboarding accident at age 17 that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Although she spent the two years that followed "in a very low place," she credits adaptive sports--and specifically adaptive wheelchair basketball, for which she went on to earn Paralympic gold--with getting her back on track. "For me, it was really important to be able to compete again and to set goals and achieve them," she said. "But for all people, I think it's really important to be mobile."

That's why Toyota decided to get involved with the upcoming Olympics, according to Hollis.

"The idea of the Olympics, the Paralympics, it's the largest, [most] fabulous sporting event in the world," he said. "And Toyota, from a global standpoint,' wants to share our message about creating freedom of movement for every person." With that end goal in mind, the Team Toyota roster includes Nichols, Ligety, and 17 other talented athletes who hope to earn spots on the PyeongChang-bound Team USA.

Ted Ligety shares Olympic wisdom

Ligety, who was the first American man to earn Olympic gold in the men's Giant Slalom event, reflected on his own Olympic experiences and shared some advice for athletes who have their tickets to PyeongChang punched. "I remember my first time at the Olympics. It was 2006 in Torino. I was just super excited to be there, but I was able to fuel that into actually competing at a high level and I ended up winning an Olympic gold medal," he recalled.

"So it's about balancing being both the tourist at the Olympics and seeing it all and also being able to focus in."

Looking beyond the 2018 Olympics

So beyond the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games, what's in the cards for Nichols and Ligety? "I'm very passionate about the adaptive surf movement," Nichols said. "Getting people with disabilities out in the ocean is one of the greatest accomplishments on a personal level, but expanding that throughout the world and sharing the joy of the ocean with people of all walks of life is a true passion of mine."

For Ligety, anything could be in the cards, but the one thing that he probably won't do is appear on the four-week, all-athlete edition of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" when it premieres next spring.

"I'm not much of a dancer," he said with a laugh. "I'm way too self-conscious for that."

"Me too," added Nichols. "Even if I could walk or use my legs, same. I'm just not that person."

For more information on Team Toyota and the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, visit mobilityforall.com. Watch the video embedded above for the full, unedited interview with Ted Ligety and Alana Nichols.