Blake Leeper shows us nothing is impossible when you “believe in something bigger.”
As part of a mini documentary series called Project Believe, American Paralympic track and field sprinter Blake Leeper inspires us to go after our dreams. More importantly, his message reminds us that our dreams are within reach if we’re determined enough to achieve them.
The tagline for the film series “Believe in Something Bigger,” originally started with the California Lottery’s Powerball campaign, which then developed into an even bigger campaign to find and share the stories of exceptional individuals across California. Leeper, a 25-year-old San Diego local who trains at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, was selected as one of the six motivators whose story will amaze you.
To give some background, Leeper is a bilateral below-the-knee amputee and has been using prosthetics since he was 9 months old. A natural athlete, Leeper grew up playing baseball and competed on his high school varsity basketball team in Tennessee using prosthetic walking legs. It wasn’t until later in college, though, that he tried on his first pair of prosthetic running feet and started his rapidly successful track career.
At the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Leeper won silver in the 400-meter T44 event (Oscar Pistorius won gold) and bronze in the 200 meters. He’s now aiming to compete in the 400 at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro alongside able-bodied athletes. If he makes it, he’ll be the first American double amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympic Games. He’ll also be the fastest man in the world with no legs.
Inspired? You can catch Leeper playing in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night in New York. The game starts at 7 p.m. EST and is televised on ESPN.