Elexis "Lex" Gillette is the best totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of U.S. Paralympics. He is the current world record holder in the long jump, a three-time Paralympic medalist, a two-time long jump world champion, and a 16-time national champion. He is the only totally blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump. Think all of this came easy, think again.
The average eight year old child can be seen riding a bicycle, shooting baskets, or playing at a nearby playground, but Lex Gillette was far from being your average child. In 1992, Gillette witnessed his eight years of sight slowly fade away due to recurrent retina detachments. Ten operations couldn't stabilize what little sight that he had. After the final operation, Verdina Gillette-Simms, Lex's mother, had the difficult task of telling her son that he would most likely never see again. As difficult as this was, Gillette-Simms vowed to teach her son everything that he would need to know in order to be successful in life. Today, her efforts can be seen through the excellence of her son.
At 19 years of age, Gillette saw his dreams come true by winning his first silver medal in the long jump at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. Since that performance, Gillette has solidified himself as a top-notch competitor for Team USA by achieving medal winning performances at every major international competition he has attended to date. His latest achievement includes winning gold in the long jump at the 2015 ParaPan American Games that were held in Toronto, Canada. Another thing that is really impressive is that Gillette has successfully balanced education and athletics by achieving both a bachelor's degree and master's degree while continuing to compete at a high level. he earned his bachelor's degree in recreation management from East Carolina University and his master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Now, Gillette has his sights set on the 2016 Paralympic Games where he aims to make his fourth consecutive U.S. Paralympic team. There is one goal and that is to win gold for the United States of America. As an athlete, motivational speaker and singer/song writer, Lex Gillette epitomizes the phrase "No Need for Sight When You Have a Vision®".