Blake Leeper: The mindset of a workhorse


Photo Courtesy of Daisy Roman (Photographer)

Diego Cruz, Sports Reporter

Blake Leeper, an American Paralympic athlete, has an astounding amount of accomplishments. From setting an astonishing world record of 44.42 seconds in a 400 meter race (Watch his race) to winning 3 medals as a Paralympic athlete, Leeper is experiencing a phenomenal career and his future just keeps getting brighter. Although these statistics may be very intriguing, what got him into the position he is in today is a bigger story.

In 1989 in Kingsport, Tennessee, Blake Leeper came into the world with a life-long disorder known as fibular hemimelia. This would cause him to have to live without legs below the knee for the entirety of his life, but as time went on Leeper took his life-long disorder as a blessing by going along the lines of “no excuses!” He uses these two strong words to give him the motivation to get better, to get stronger, and to be superior against his opponents, and it has helped throughout his whole life.

No Excuses!”

— Blake Leeper

He overcame his many obstacles by working harder than others, and not only that, he proved people wrong. He proved to them that he could in fact become whatever he wanted to be no matter if he had legs or not; as he says, “I worked so hard I threw up.” This perfectly illustrates how much he wanted to reach his goal and prove detractors wrong.

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However, not everything was perfect from where he is now. To this day he still reflects on his past as a young kid. Leeper felt like the younger version of him blamed himself for who he is, because he didn’t want to be different. He wanted to be like everyone else and to fit in the other kids instead of being a target. He explained, “I experienced kids making fun of me and not respecting me for who I was.”

Blake Leeper has always said to himself anything is possible. His main goal was to be to the fastest runner alive. His ideas were as simple as believing in himself and showing others that he can do it. The hardship he lives is certainly one that not many could endure and stay motivated, but what separates him from the rest is his willingness to give it his all to achieve his one and only goal.

My unfair advantage is my perspective.”

— Blake Leeper