Blake Leeper is an American Paralympic athlete who is an eight-time Paralympic track and field international medalist, two-time world record holder and three-time American record holder.
He was born in Kingsport, Tennessee with both legs missing below the knee and has worn prosthetics since 9 months of age. During his childhood, Blake participated in various sports such as baseball and basketball, with his dad coaching. Blake credits his outstanding positive attitude to his family.
In June 2016 he tested positive for using cocaine. It was determined that his use of cocaine was not intended to enhance performance, and in consideration of other mitigating factors he was deemed eligible for a reduced, 1-year sanction.
Blake returned to the world of track and field at the US Track and Field Championships in 2017, becoming the first double-leg amputee to compete at the event. After qualifying for the semi-finals with a time of 45.52 seconds in the 400 metres, Leeper was able to break Oscar Pistorius’ world record in the event, with a time of 45.25 seconds the next day.
His main goal in the coming years has been to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo and to be the first disabled American to qualify for the Olympics.