Lex Gillette

“No Need for Sight When You Have a Vision®”

Lex Gillette is the most accomplished totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of U.S. Paralympics. He’s a 3-time Paralympic medalist, the reigning world champion in long jump, world record holder in the long jump, and a 14-time national champion.  At the 2015 ParaPan Am Games, Lex claimed the Gold medal in the long jump with a match of his World Record of 6.73 meters.

Learn More About Lex

After losing his sight at the age of 8 to recurrent retina detachments, Lex not only persevered and excelled in the classroom, but also became a 3-time Paralympic medalist and reigning world champion in the long jump, world record holder in the long jump, and a 14-time national champion.

Being in the Paralympics must be stressful! How do you mentally prepare to do something like that?

Preparation is the key. If you train physically and mentally to achieve the moment, then you will feel more comfortable when the Olympic/Paralympic competition actually happens.

How does belonging to Classroom Champions help in the real world?

Goal setting, perseverance, community, honesty, and teamwork are just a few skills that we educate our students on as Classroom Champion athlete mentors. These are skills that will assist me in tackling challenges and reaching new heights in life.

What kind of goals do you set for yourself while you are training?

I want everyone who is a part of my support team to know that the time they spent helping me succeed was well worth it. That is why my goal is to always bring 100% effort to every single one of my training sessions.

When you were a young athlete, what were your biggest challenges off “the field”? In particular, how did you decide to say no to underage drinking?

My biggest challenge was balancing education, athletics and social life. As a young athlete, education was critical to professional success post-athletics, but I wanted to make sure I worked in the appropriate training time to maintain athletic excellence. Social life was important also but I always made sure to stay focused on my overall goal which was to be an elite athlete and win gold medals for Team USA. I couldn’t allow underage drinking to ruin that dream.

How do you stay active during the offseason?

During the offseason I enjoy lifting weights and leisure runs, but unlike our usual structured training sessions, I like to do those things just to feel good and stay in shape. I live in San Diego so I also enjoy the outdoors, walking on the beach, standup paddle boarding and riding bicycles on Coronado Island.


Have you checked out the Scholastic materials featuring Lex and his fellow Athlete Mentor Superstars Erin Hamlin and Lauren Holiday, member of the US women’s World Cup soccer team? Check it out here!

Get all the facts about Lex’s involvement with Classroom Champions here!

Get all the facts on Classroom Champions here!




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“No need for sight when you have a vision®”
Lex Gillette

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