ParalympianPara Track and Field

Lex Gillette

Paralympian 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020

Lex Gillette taking off for his jump

athlete news

  • 0


  • 5


  • 0


Event Schedule

Upcoming Event

2023 Parapan American Games - Para Track and Field

November 17, 2023 - November 26, 2023 | Santiago, Chile

GO TO EVENTS PAGE, opens in a new tab
Previous Event

Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships

July 8 - 17, 2023 | Paris, France

Athlete Bio

Lex Gillette walking with hands on his hips




Oct 19, 1984


Raleigh, NC


East Carolina University

classification: T11/F11

Gillette’s life has been guided by one simple phrase, “there’s no need for sight when you have vision"...In 1992, eight-year-old Gillette was getting ready for bed when he noticed blurriness...Doctors discovered retina detachments in both eyes, leading to numerous hospital visits and 10 surgeries before he lost his sight completely...His mother, Verdina, encouraged him to maintain his independence, keeping him in public schools and sports...A mandatory fitness test and an adapted recreation specialist, Brian Whitmer, at Athens Drive introduced Gillette to the event that he would ultimately win three Paralympic medals for...Whitmore would clap to give Gillette the signal to run to help keep him in a straight line, allowing him to count his strides...With a natural talent for jumping, he continued to hone his skills as a co-captain on his high school track & field team and after college, earning him his first trip at 19 years old to Athens where he took home a silver medal at the 2004 Paralympic Games...Son of Rickey and Verdina Gillette-Simms...Has one younger sister, Uvonne...Has worked with sighted guide Wes Williams since 2007...Only totally blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump...Currently trains at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Center in California...Hobbies include singing, playing the piano, writing, reading, traveling, and enjoying other sports...Serves as an athlete mentor for Classroom Champions...Outside of being an athlete, he is a motivational speaker and singer/songwriter...Favorite professional sports team is the NFL’s Carolina Panthers...His mother, Verdina, has been legally blind since she was 18 because of glaucoma...Has sang the national anthem at major sporting events, including at a San Diego Padres baseball gameParalympic Experience
    Five-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020); Five-time Paralympic medalist (5 silver)
  • Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, silver (long jump)
  • Paralympic Games Rio 2016, silver (long jump)
  • Paralympic Games London 2012, silver (long jump), 4th (triple jump)
  • Paralympic Games Beijing 2008, silver (long jump), 5th (triple jump), 13th (200-meter), 14th (100-meter)
  • Paralympic Games Athens 2004, silver (long jump), 6th (4x100-meter relay)
  • Most Recent: 2023 – 7th (long jump)
  • Years of Participation: 2006, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2023
  • Medals: 9 (4 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze)
  • Gold – 2019 (long jump), 2017 (long jump), 2015 (long jump), 2013 (long jump)
  • Silver – 2013 (triple jump, 4x100-meter relay), 2006 (long jump)
  • Bronze – 2011 (200-meter, triple jump)

Lex Gillette: My Story

  • Lex Gillette poses for a photo series in his Team USA uniform on the track at Chula Vista, CA
    Team USA
    Content categorized by:Lex GilletteNews

    Lex Gillette Has Vision - For Paris and Beyond

    A blind long jumper with five Paralympic silver medals, Lex Gillette is aiming for gold in Paris.

    Read MoreNext slide: It feels great to touch the tactile design of my Tokyo 2020 silver medal.
1 of 4
There's no need for sight when you have vision.
Lex Gillette


Team USA logo

Follow Us


United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee
  • Accessibility
  • Finance , opens in a new tab
  • Governance , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Site Map

© 2023 United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. All Rights Reserved.