HAMILTON, ON--(Marketwired - Jun 22, 2016) - Patrick "Blake" Leeper won both 200-meter and 400-meter races at last night's McMaster Twilight Meet in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The first time out of the blocks in over a year, Leeper broke his previous American Paralympic 200m record with a time of 21.49, previously 21.76, and smashed his 400m record with a time of 46.54, compared with his former American record of 48.3. Leeper took first place in both able-bodied events, racing in the McMaster Hamilton Twilight Meet the very same day he became eligible to compete again from serving a one-year suspension for testing positive of a Non-performance enhancing drug.
"My ability to demonstrate anything is possible and come back from the lowest point in my life stronger than ever will hopefully motivate people everywhere to follow their dreams and never give up," said Leeper.
Born without legs, Leeper is an eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder (in the 4x100m relay where his record still stands today) and three-time American record holder (in the 100m and 200m dash and 400m run). He took silver in the 400m race behind the now infamous Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Leeper is now on a quest to break Pistorius's world record and get a second chance to win gold in Rio.
"I am incredibly grateful to my coaches Willie Gault and Al Joyner, my management team led by Bob Lorsch at The RHL Group, and everyone behind the scenes at #TeamLeepster that made my return to the track possible. I'm excited about the opportunity to race in the Paralympic Team Trials in North Carolina starting next week."
According to Paula Schnurr, Cross Country and Track Head Coach at McMaster University, "Patrick is a wonderful person who was extremely impressive not only with his athletic ability but his ability to interact with others and take an interest in what everyone he meets is doing on and off the track. I think it's important that athletic directors and coaches support our athletes not just in the world of sport but in everything they do by responsibly taking an interest in their lives. We were happy to support Patrick and his return to competitive sports and appreciate Bob Lorsch for his enthusiasm toward our track and field program."
Coinciding with Leeper's successful return to the track, The RHL Group, Inc., which took over his management earlier this year, expanded Leeper's global footprint by entering into a co-management agreement with 6 Degrees Group, a leading media personality and management company located in Sydney, Australia. Titus Day, Managing Director of 6 Degrees, will work with The RHL Group across all aspects of Leeper's career throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Leeper's journey of overcoming all odds to return to competitive racing has attracted numerous sponsors including Victorino Noval Foundation, Probulin and Muscle Mechanics, to name a few, and the international press can't seem to get enough of him. NBC4 News ran a "Road To Rio 2016" Olympics story profiling the blade runner's return, Circa News produced a broadcast story available in over 43 million households worldwide, and Inside Quest has just released a video Patrick "Blake" Leeper's Quest for Gold to inspire others through his story.
For more information about Patrick "Blake" Leeper visit www.teamleepster.com.
About Patrick "Blake" Leeper
Patrick "Blake" Leeper started his medal run in 2011 at the Pan American Games where he took silver in the 100-meter dash. He went on to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where he picked up two more medals, a bronze in the 200-meter dash and silver in the 400-meter dash, losing to South African Oscar Pistorius, whose world record of 45.39 seconds is the one Leeper is chasing. In 2013, Leeper also took four medals at the Paralympic World Championships in Lyon, France, where he ran as part of the world record-setting 4x100-meter relay gold medal team. At the same event he took the silver medal in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash.
Leeper's medal collection includes one gold, six silver and one bronze. Over his career, he hopes to win more medals than any Paralympic athlete in track and field. In addition to the medals he has already won, Leeper holds one 2013 Paralympic world record in the 4x100m relay and three American records in the 100-meter dash (10.91), the 200-meter dash (21.7) and the 400-meter dash (48.3). Leeper's world record for his part in the 4x100-meter relay still stands today.
The 26-year-old Leeper, who was born without legs from a congenital birth defect, did not start racing until 2010. It was at his first ever race in Edmond, Oklahoma that he caught the attention of the Associate Director of High Performance for U.S. Paralympics Track and Field, who convinced his parents to let their son move into the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, where he started his habit of winning. That's when Leeper left the University of Tennessee to embark on a journey that no one could envision for a kid from Tennessee born without legs. Visit www.patrickblakeleeper.com and follow Patrick on Twitter #TeamLeepster.
About The RHL Group
The RHL Group, Inc. is a business management and investment-holding corporation with interests in advertising, marketing, management and health care. The company is headed by Robert H. "Bob" Lorsch, a well-known Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist whose Robert H. Lorsch Foundation Trust supports science & technology, animal welfare and running organizations, including Race with Purpose. The foundation also recently enabled Marathon Kids to cross the finish line at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while carrying the last Olympic Torch carried by Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner. The Coliseum is situated directly across from The Robert H. Lorsch Family Pavilion, which serves as the gateway to the California Science Center in historic Exposition Park. Visit www.rhlgroup.com.