1 ‘Survivor’ Season 43 Castaway Competed in the Paralympics After Losing Her Leg in an Accident

Viewers will meet 18 new players during the Survivor Season 43 premiere, and they are quite a diverse bunch. Producers will separate them into three tribes, where they will work together to outlast the others until the merge. And one Survivor Season 43 castaway is Noelle Lambert, who has a unique story.

Noelle Lambert, who is a castaway in 'Survivor' Season 43 on CBS, wears a light blue cropped tank top and two-toned jean shorts.
Noelle Lambert | Photo: Robert Voets/CBS

Meet the ‘Survivor’ Season 43 castaways

The Survivor Season 43 cast includes:

  • Cassidy Clark (26), a designer from Austin, TX
  • Cody Assenmacher (35), an elevator salesperson from Honolulu, HI
  • Dwight Moore (22), a graduate student from Collierville, TN
  • Elie Scott (31), a clinical psychologist from Salt Lake City, UT
  • Geo Bustamante (36), a project manager from Honolulu, HI
  • James Jones (37), an event planner from Philadelphia, PA
  • Jeanine Zheng (24), a UX designer from San Francisco, CA
  • Jesse Lopez (30), a political science Ph.D. student from Durham, NC
  • Justine Brennan (29), a cyber security salesperson from Marina Del Rey, CA
  • Karla Cruz Godoy (28), an educational project manager from Newark, DE
  • Lindsay Carmine (42), a pediatric nurse from Downington, PA
  • Mike Gabler (52), a heart valve specialist from Meridian, ID
  • Morriah Young (28), a teacher from Philadelphia, PA
  • Noelle Lambert (25), a Paralympian from Manchester, NH
  • Nneka Ejere (43), a pharmacist from Weatherford, TX
  • Owen Knight (30), an college admissions director from New Orleans, LA
  • Ryan Medrano (25), a warehouse associate from El Paso, TX
  • Sami Layadi (19), a pet cremator from Las Vegas, NV

Elie, Gabler, Morriah, Owen, Jeanine, and Sami are on the Baka tribe. James, Lindsay, Ryan, Geo, Karla, and Cassidy are on the Coco tribe. And Dwight, Nneka, Cody, Noelle, Jesse, and Justine are on the Vesi tribe.

Noelle lost her leg in 2016

Noelle, who will start as a castaway on the Vesi tribe in Survivor Season 43, is a Paralympian who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics for Team USA in the Track and Field category.

According to her website, Noelle lost her left leg during a moped accident in 2016. She was driving the moped with her friend on the back when she collided with a dump truck. It was Noelle’s summer break from studying at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she was a Division 1 lacrosse athlete. After recovering, Noelle returned to school and continued to play on the lacrosse team.

Following her injury, Noelle founded the Born to Run Foundation, which helps provide amputees with prosthetics that are specially made for competing in sports. And now, Noelle is spreading her message while competing in Survivor Season 43.

The castaway discusses starring in ‘Survivor’ Season 43

During an interview with Parade, Noelle shared why she wanted to be a castaway in Survivor Season 43 and how losing her leg helped prepare her for the experience.

“I’m here on behalf of the whole amputee community and the disability community,” she explained. “And I want to prove to people that people who have disabilities are not incapable of doing things. And I am the first above knee amputee to ever play the game of Survivor. So having that title is incredibly special to me. Because I’m not only playing for myself, but I’m also playing for them to prove to them that they can do anything that they put their minds to.”

Noelle added, “One life experience that I feel has prepared me for the game is losing my left leg. Just the physical and mental toughness that I’ve had to go through these last six years and learn how to do everything all over again. I mean, it did prepare me a little bit for this moment, just because I know that this game is going to be probably the toughest mental and physical challenge that I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

Survivor Season 43 premieres tonight, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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