El Camino College to Welcome Guest Speaker Patrick “Blake” Leeper

February 1, 2024 Torrance, CA

What if you could set your mind to accomplish your wildest dreams? Are you looking for the motivation to triumph over obstacles in the way of achieving your goals? Find out more at “Running Towards Your Dreams,” a presentation by Olympic/Paralympic Games medalist Patrick “Blake” Leeper set for at 7 p.m. March 12 in El Camino College’s Marsee Auditorium.

Leeper will discuss the power of running toward dreams rather than walking, while offering practical advice to push forward and overcome barriers.

An eight-time Paralympic track and field international medalist, Leeper is also a world record holder and three-time American record holder. Born without legs from a congenital birth defect, Leeper 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.

“Something I always tell myself personally is that my adversity is my advantage,” he said. “The fact that I was born without legs, I had to learn how to fight back at an early age. I had to learn that life isn’t fair, but no excuses. I had to get up and go after it and attack it. So, whatever you are facing today and whatever challenges you are up against, accept them. Whatever hurdle or obstacles you will have tomorrow, embrace them. It’s going to make you a stronger person.”

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. He is also striving to be an inspiration to others as the first American track and field Paralympian who qualifies for the able-bodied Olympic trials. Leeper also holds one 2013 Paralympic world record in the 4x100-meter relay and three American records in the 100-meter dash (10.91). In 2015, he broke his own American record in the 200-meter dash (21.49) and smashed the 400-meter dash record with a time of (46.54). In June 2018, running in a field of able-bodied runners, he shattered his own world record in the 400 meters, coming in at 44.42, the fastest time ever by an amputee. Leeper’s record (4.42) for the 4x100-meter relay still stands today – making him the first-ever double leg amputee under 45 seconds.

Using sport analogies and personal stories, the popular inspirational speaker shares his incredible personal story with audiences around the world, focusing on the valuable lesson that anything is possible. His encouraging and powerful message helps others believe in themselves, remain persistent, and ultimately embrace their flaws to achieve their goals. Leeper’s engaging storytelling ensures everyone leaves the event with a sense of confidence and the determination to never give up.

The El Camino Community College District encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Center for the Arts as soon as possible, but no later than seven days prior to the event.

Tickets are $24/$10 and may be purchased at using the online ticketing system or by phone at 310-329-5345. The Ticket Office is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays for walk-up sales, and one hour before all scheduled performances. El Camino College is located at 16007 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance.