United States Paralympic athlete, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder.
Patrick “Blake” Leeper is an eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder. In June of 2018, running in a field of able-bodied runners, he shattered his own world record in the 400 meters, coming in at 44.42, the fastest time ever by an amputee. He started his medal run in 2011 at the Parapan American Games where he took his first silver in the 100-meter dash. He went on to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where he picked up two more medals, a bronze in the 200-meter dash and silver in the 400-meter dash, losing to South African Oscar Pistorius, whose world record of 45.39 seconds Leeper eventually broke. In 2013, Leeper also took four medals at the Paralympic World Championships in Lyon, France, where he ran as part of the world record-setting 4x100-meter relay gold medal team. At the same event he took the silver medal in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash.
Patrick “Blake” Leeper was chosen by the US Paralympics to represent Team USA in Rio 2016. At the Paralympic trials, he set a new American record in the 200m with a time of 21.5 and a new America’s record in the 400m at 46.1. He took silver in the 100m despite losing a prosthetic leg crossing the finish line live on NBC. In April 2018, Leeper set a new world record of 45.05 in a 400 meter race, not only beating Pistorius’ record, but placing him in the top 10 amongst able bodied athletes.
Leeper’s medal collection includes one gold, six silver and one bronze. Over his career, he hopes to win more medals than any Paralympic athlete in track and field. He is also striving to be an inspiration to others as the first American track and field Paralympian who qualifies for the able-bodied Olympic trials. In addition to the medals he has already won, Leeper holds one 2013 Paralympic world record in the 4x100m relay and three American records in the 100-meter dash (10.91). On June 20, 2015 Leeper broke his own American record in the 200-meter dash (21.49) and smashed the 400-meter dash record with a time of (46.54). Leeper’s record (4.42) for the 4x100-meter relay still stands today—making him the first-ever double leg amputee under 45 seconds.
Born without legs from a congenital birth defect, Leeper did not start racing until 2010. It was at his first ever race in Edmond, Oklahoma that he caught the attention of the Associate Director of High Performance for U.S. Paralympics Track and Field, who convinced his parents to let their son move into the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, where he started his habit of winning. That’s when Leeper left the University of Tennessee to embark on a journey that no one could envision for a kid from Tennessee born without legs. As a popular inspirational speaker, he shares his incredible story with audiences around the world imparting on them the valuable lesson that anything is possible
My Personal Story
Born without legs below his knees, Patrick “Blake” Leeper has never been one for excuses. He has defied the odds and won countless titles as a Paralympic runner. Now, he shares his personal yet inspiring story with all audiences. Taking them through every twist and turn, this articulate young man will have everyone on the edge of their seat, leaving the event with a sense of confidence and the determination to never give up.
Finding Abilities in Your Disabilities
Patrick “Blake” Leeper has faced insurmountable obstacles as a paraplegic athlete. However, he has never let his physical disabilities stop him from following his dreams. Leeper uses his life and the lessons learned as the guideline to teach audiences to find the positive abilities in their seemingly negative disabilities. Whether the wall in front of you is physical or emotional, this speech provides practical advice to push forward as well as motivation to challenge yourself to overcome any barrier you may face.
Running Towards Your Dreams
In this speech, Patrick “Blake” Leeper defines what it means to set your mind to accomplishing your wildest dreams. Using sport analogies and personal stories, he inspires audiences to run towards their dreams rather than walk. His encouraging and powerful message will help others believe in themselves, remain persistent and ultimately embrace their flaws to achieve their goals.