Big dreamer double amputee Blake Leeper eyes 2020 Olympic Games
Born without legs, Blake Leeper wants to be first American double amputee on Olympic Games track and field team [caption id="attachment_15760" align="alignleft" width="215"] Blake Leeper[/caption] Paralympic medalist and double amputee Blake Leeper clocked a 44.42 personal best in the 400 meters
Born without legs, Blake Leeper wants to be first American double amputee on Olympic Games track and field team
Paralympic medalist and double amputee Blake Leeper clocked a 44.42 personal best in the 400 meters at a meet in Prague, Czech Republic in June. Leeper easily outsprinted a field of able-bodied runners and the time would have qualified for every U.S. Olympic team.
Leeper lowered his personal best of 45.05 from April 21. He said his goal is to run in the 43-second range, which would make him one of only a handful of 400-meter sprinters all-time to break 44 seconds.
Leeper will be only the second double-amputee to achieve world-class status in the 400 meters. The other is South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius, whose PR was 45.45.
Leeper, 28, ranks fourth in the U.S. in the 400 meters this year.
Leeper is believed to be the only double amputee to race at a USATF outdoors meet, reaching the 400m semifinals last year and clocking a then-personal-best 45.25 to take Oscar Pistorius off the IPC record books. Leeper raced at that meet for the first time since the end of a cocaine ban.
“I can remember back in 2008, when I was in my college dorm room [pre-med at the University of Tennessee], never run a track meet in my life, seeing [Pistorius] run for the first time, that inspired me,” Leeper recalled.
Leeper recounts his astounding ascent in the 400 meters after just a few short years of competition beginning with the Paralympics, where he holds several sprinting records.