This Athlete Could Become the First American Amputee to Compete in the Olympics

This Athlete Could Become the First American Amputee to Compete in the Olympics

Blake Leeper has never let his lack of legs prevent him from pursuing his passion for sports—and now, he is fighting to become the first American amputee to participate in the Olympics.

Since Leeper discovered his passion for track and field in college, he has gone on to become a Paralympic champion and international silver- and bronze-medalist.

Despite these achievements the 30-year-old double amputee has been denied a chance to compete for Team USA in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside able-bodied athletes because the World Athletics ruled that his prosthetic running blades gave him an unfair advantage over his competitors.

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However, Leeper will not be deterred—he has filed for an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to let him compete.

“World Athletics’s decision to bar me from participating in the World Championships was a blow to all disabled athletes, but I will not be deterred. I trust in CAS to recognize that I do not have any advantage over able-bodied athletes,” Leeper said in a statement. “I just want a fair chance to compete. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of participating in the Olympics with the best runners in the world, and I have shown myself capable of competing with them. But I will need the help of the Court … to make my dream a reality.”

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Published at Thu, 12 Mar 2020 11:52:12 +0000