Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, also known as the "American Bladerunner"
The day before the Daytona 500, the Thunderbirds will give Blake Leeper a backseat ride in one of their F-16s on Saturday morning Feb. 22nd. They'll stage out of the Yelvington Jet Aviation FBO at Daytona Beach International Airport.
Blake was most recently on The Arsenio Hall Show and was also the 12th Titan for the NFL on CBS and Nashville's NBC News.
"Blake has a winning smile and a heart of gold - women cry and kids love him," Vanilla Fire Director and Sports Manager Steven C. Barber said. "It is an honor to work with the first double amputee on the road to being the first American double amputee in the primary games." You might also see Blake on a national "Tough Love" P&G commercial spot on Monday February 10th.
"Blake Leeper is a true inspiration and a legend in the making," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "We are honored to have him participate in the pre-race ceremonies at the ‘World Center of Racing’ for the thrilling and historic Daytona 500."
Born with a birth defect that stopped growth below his knees, Leeper was still able to build muscle above the knee and began playing sports when he was five years old.
It wasn't until 2008, after the Challenged Athletes Foundation offered him a grant for state-of-the-
Leeper went on to win the silver medal in the 2012 London Paralympic Games and the gold medal in the 400m Relay at the IPC Worlds in Lyon, France.
Currently training for the 2016 Rio Olympics for Team USA, Leeper will become the first American double-amputee to compete in the Olympic Games.
See Blake's journey and Vanilla Fire as they follow Blake on the Road To Rio 2016: https://www.facebook.com/
For interviews and appearances contact:
Steven C. Barber
Director & Sports Manager
Vanilla Fire Productions LLC