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LEEPER Blake
Sport Athletics
NPC United States   
GenderMen
Born31 Aug 1989
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Classification
T43
Further Personal Information
Residence
Chula Vista, CA, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker, Student
Languages
English
Higher education
Physics - San Diego State University: United States
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
His first competitive races were in August 2009 at the University of Central Oklahoma Endeavor Games in the United States.
Why this sport?
He played basketball at high school and hoped to continue playing at college. He then discovered there were special prosthetic legs for athletes that would enable him to try running for the first time.
Club / Team
US Olympic Training Center: Chula Vista, CA, USA
Name of coach
Joaquim Cruz [national]
Coach from which country?
Brazil
Coach from what year?
2009
Training Regime
He trains on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, concentrating on track sets, weights, blocks starts and flexibility.
Senior International Debut
Year
2009
Competing for
United States
Location
Rio de Janeiro
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement
Being a member of the United States team. (runtastic.com, 15 Mar 2013)
Most influential person in career
His father for pushing him so hard. (runtastic.com, 15 Mar 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Life is 10% what you deal with and 90% how you deal with it." (timesnews.net, 13 Oct 2012)
Awards and honours
He was part of the US 4x100m relay team that was named as the 2013 Paralympic Team of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee. The award was in recognition of the squad's performance at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France. The team also included Richard Browne, Jerome Singleton and Jarryd Wallace. (insidethegames.biz, 24 Oct 2013)

In 2013 he was inducted into the Boys & Girls Club of America Alumni Hall of Fame. (timesnews.net, 06 May 2013)

Help Our Potential Evolve [HOPE], a community organisation in his home town Kingsport, TN, United States, declared 13 October 2012 as 'Blake Leeper Day'. (downtownkingsport.org, 12 Oct 2012)
Other sports
He played varsity basketball at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, TN, United States. (competitor.com, 30 Aug 2012; timesnews.net, 07 Dec 2006)
Ambitions
To compete as an able-bodied athlete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (teamusa.org, 08 May 2014)
Impairment
He was born with both legs missing below the knee and has worn prosthetics since age nine months. "The doctor told me he'd never walk," said his mother Enid. "We decided that we were going to treat him as if he did have limbs. No exceptions." (teamusa.org, 25 Jun 2012)
Other information
EARLY DAYS
After a strong international debut, his coach Joaquim Cruz knew immediately that Leeper had natural talent. "He took third in the 100m on just raw talent. Then he took second in the 200m, and I was like, 'whoa, this kid is special.' I could tell right away that Blake had something the other kids didn't." (competitor.com, 30 Aug 2012)

MOTIVATION
His parents inspired his athletic career by applying some reverse psychology when getting him fitted for his prosthetics as a child. "I remember my parents telling me that the doctors told them that I would never be involved in any athletic activity. They said I wouldn't be able to run and jump like the rest of the kids, that I would have to play the piano or something like that." (timesnews.net, 07 Dec 2006)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games (Overall)
Rank Year Event Result
3 2012 200m T44 22.46
  2012 4 x 100m Relay T42-46  DSQ
5 2012 100m T44 11.21
2 2012 400m T44 50.14
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
6 2011 200m T44 23.65
5 2011 100m T44 11.57
5 2011 400m T44 1:00.15
2 2011 4 x 100m Relay T42-46 42.84
2 2013 200m T43 21.78
2 2013 100m T43 11.34
2 2013 400m T44 49.30
1 2013 4 x 100m Relay T42-46 40.73