Patrick “Blake” Leeper is a United States Paralympic athlete, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder. He was born on August 31st, 1989 in Kingsport, Tennessee with both legs missing below the knee.
Leeper’s first exposure to Paralympic track and field came through the 2008 games, when he watched Oscar Pistorius’ record-setting performances earn a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10. A switch was flipped: Leeper knew he wanted to race. He reached out to members of the United States’ 2008 Paralympics team via MySpace, eventually receiving a response from an athlete named Ryan Fann. The guidance provided by Fann would lead Blake to get his first running legs and begin his journey.
Leeper came in first place in his first event and earned attention from U.S. Paralympics coaches. He placed first in a major race in Brazil, solidifying his status as one of track’s least expected young stars. He was then invited to train with U.S. Olympians in the summer of 2010. He later took home first place at trials in Miami.
Leeper dropped out of college to pursue track at the necessary level. He arrived in San Diego in December of 2010 and spent the entirety of 2011 training. After placing fifth against Oscar Pistorius in New Zealand, Leeper spent the next year of his life devoted fully to his training.
In the first race of 2012, Leeper posted a sub-22 in the 200m -- Pistorius was the only other person in the world who had done so. By June of 2012, Blake was tying the reigning champ’s times. Then, by the time the games rolled around, Blake was posted a 21.7 in the 200m.
Leeper arrived to his first Paralympic games and earned a bronze medal in the 200m and a silver medal in the 400m. While he did fall short of his goals of beating Pistorius, he had definitively showed that track and field world that his time was coming.
After improving even more with a 47.9 at trials, Leeper was asked to take a random drug test. While the test did not show cocaine itself, it did show metabolic byproducts of the substance, which was enough to warrant a suspension.
Leeper did not walk away from the sport he loves after his ban from the 2016 games. Following what he admitted was a “dark” period for him during the games, he doubled down on his commitment to his sport.
Since his return, Leeper has 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 at the Paralympic trials. He took silver in the 100m despite losing a prosthetic leg crossing the finish line live on NBC.
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Blake Leeper is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Blake Leeper for your event is $10,000 - $30,000. Blake Leeper generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Blake Leeper for an upcoming event.
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