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Paralympic sprinter, Blake Leeper, talks about growing up as a double amputee and his road to the Paralympics and beyond.
Austin, Texas, May 12, 2020 -- Paralympic sprinter, Blake Leeper, talks about growing up as a double amputee and his road to the Paralympics and beyond.
In 1989, Blake Leeper was born missing both legs below the knees because of a congenital birth defect. He grew up as any other young boy would – loving sports and participating in baseball and basketball, among others. While in college studying for his pre-med degree, he received his first set of running blades and the rest is history.
Blake is an eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder, and three-time American record holder. “Life is 10% what you’re dealt and 90% how you deal with it” says Blake. “I still have 90% to show the world what I truly can do.” His running career started in 2010 and he won a silver medal only one year later at the Parapan American Games in the 100-meter dash. He has also medaled at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London (200-meter dash bronze and 400-meter dash silver) and in 2013 he took home four medals at the Paralympic World Championships in Lyon, France (record-setting 4x100-meter relay gold, and silver medals in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 400-meter dash).
In 2017, Leeper became the first double-leg amputee to compete at the U.S. Track & Field Championships where he broke Oscar Pistorius’ world record in the 400-meter dash, finishing at lightning speed of 45.25 seconds. Blake’s next goal is to become the first double amputee to compete with able-bodied athletes at the Olympics. He is now going through a similar process to what Oscar Pistorius went through to obtain approval from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). While Blake knows this will be a process, he acknowledges “there is a bigger purpose for all of this.”
Throughout his life, Blake has had to work harder, train longer, and prove his abilities. He credits his family for his unwavering positive outlook and wants to show the world his talents on the greatest athletic stage in the world.
Want to hear more from Blake Leeper? Join us Friday, May 15th at 3:00 pm CDT when Ottbock will go live on Instagram with Blake to discuss his journey, outlook on life as a double amputee, and what keeps him motivated.
If you are unable to attend the live event, you can find a recording post-event on Ottobock’s YouTube channel.
Ottobock develops “wearable human bionics” – medical technology products for people with limited mobility in the fields of Prosthetics, Orthotics and Human Mobility (wheelchairs). The company, founded in 1919, also treats patients in its Patient Care division. Ottobock's mission: Enhancing the quality of life and health economic benefits of those they serve. In 2018, Ottobock began using their biomechanical expertise for industrial applications as well with the introduction of the Paexo exoskeleton. Subsidiaries in 59 countries offer “Made in Germany” quality worldwide and employ more than 7,000 people. The international activities of the company are coordinated from the head office in Duderstadt, Germany. The company opened its doors in the U.S. in 1958 and in Canada in 1978. Ottobock has been supporting the Paralympic Games with technical expertise since 1988.