About lex:
athlete & speaker

A Recognized champion

Lex is the best totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of the U.S. Paralympic movement. He is the current world record holder in the long jump, a five-time Paralympic medalist, a four-time long jump world champion, and an 18-time national champion. He is the only totally blind athlete to ever eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump.

Many of his fellow eight-year-olds could be seen riding bicycles, shooting baskets, or frolicking on nearby playgrounds, but Lex was dealing with a far more challenging opponent. His sight began to slowly fade entirely due to recurrent retina detachments. Ten operations failed to stabilize what little sight he had left. After the final surgery, Lex’s mother Verdina Gillette-Simms, had the difficult task of telling her son he would likely never see again. She vowed to teach Lex everything he would need to know to be successful in life. Her hard work and love were the foundation for Lex’s accomplishments.

Lex Gillette sits on a bench at Olympic Training Center

A dream come true

At the age of 19, Lex won his first Paralympic silver medal in the long jump. His achievements at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece were the culmination of years of hard work and training. Since that time, Lex has solidified himself as a tenacious competitor for Team USA. Each of his athletic performances since that time have resulted in medals with the most recent being silver in the long jump at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Lex now has not only competed in but medaled in five consecutive Paralympic Games and he's looking for more. Ultimately, there is one goal, and that is to win gold for the United States of America. As an athlete, motivational speaker, and singer-songwriter, Lex epitomizes the phrase “No Need for Sight When You Have a Vision ®”.

Reaching Audiences

Lex Gillette in Team USA gear

Lex is a highly sought-after inspirational African American keynote speaker who empowers his audiences to gaze beyond the horizon and see more than what is in front of their eyes.

There is no need for sight when you have a vision.© In fact, Lex proclaims that it wasn’t until he became blind that he was truly able to see. As he writes in his book FLY!, “Vision gives you strength. You see what can be, and maybe what ought to be. Your focus shifts away from what’s in your way, to what lies beyond your current reality.”

Lex has a unique perspective as a Black, blind Paralympic speaker. His presentation topics include visionary leadership, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), ableism, growth mindset, resilience, and high performance, to name a few.

Contact us today to start securing a better future through Lex's motivational addresses. He proudly serves audiences throughout the nation, and beyond.

[Video of Lex sitting at his keyboard in his room]

Lex: This week’s #Ask Lex question comes from Steve from Tuscaloosa Alabama, Roll Tide! And Steve asks, “Lex, you obviously have a passion for music. Have you every written any yourself?

Yes. Yes, Steve, I most certainly have. I’ve been to the studio many a time to record singles. One of my goals, however, is to record an album and/or an EP. So once things start to return to some sort of normalcy, I am going to head to the studio and get back on getting this project mashed out. The fun thing is that over the past few years, I’ve incorporated more of the music into my speaking engagements and that’s been really great.

But I do have one song, however, I’ve had it for a while.  I’ve been sitting on it for a little bit and it’s a motivational piece. I think it’s very fitting for the day and age - what’s going on right now. So let me share that with you. Got the keyboard right here

[Video of Lex playing piano music and and singing on the keyboard]

Lex Singing:

“I see the road, Merecedes drive. I see my plane. Now, I’m gon’ fly.I see the stars. Grab with both hands.And I’m gon’ hold it high to brighten where you glance.

I run the trail, through storm and hail.They wanna break me. I’m tough as nails.I am a reason. I am a sail.To lift you up when you feel like you’re gonna fail.

But when we think of the memories of pain,all this derail our train.Anytime the obstacle rises high, just face it.And elevate up to the sky, close your eyes, envisionAnd everything your wishing, will come.

If you wanna see for yourself, look inside your mind.That’s where the luxury lies.Ooooh yeah. Ooooh yeah.If you wanna see for yourself, look inside your mind.

And you will be able to stand the test of time.The test of time.

[Video: Song ends]

[Video of Lex sitting at his keyboard in his room]

Lex: Appreciate the question, Steve. Keep those questions coming. #AskLex I will holler at you later.

Lex’s athletic career includes many achievements and awards

  • 2021 Silver Medalist, Long Jump

    Tokyo Paralympic Games, Tokyo Japan

  • 2019Gold Medalist, Long Jump

    Para-Athletics World Championships, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • 2017Gold Medalist, Long Jump

    Para-Athletics World Championships, London, England

Please open this PDF to view all of Lex's accomplishments

OPEN pdf

“Lex brings an inspiring and compelling message about becoming the best version of yourself. His own journey and story is ripe with rich leadership insights delivered in a poignant and humbling fashion.”


Review Additional Testimonials

Respected Author

Respected Author, Lex's first book, Fly! has received praise for its message of inspiration, courage and hope. He is currently writing a second book to be released fall of 2022.

FLY! Find your own wings and soar above life’s challenges by Lex Gillette.

With the encouragement and support of a dynamic and resolute mother who was determined for her son to function independently in the sighted world, Lex attended public schools in Raleigh, NC. In high school, Lex met Coach Brian Whitmer and was introduced to a life-changing track and field event... the long jump.

“Fly!” is more than the story of an athlete. The chapters not only tell great stories but also convey important, inspirational messages. This is a book for all ages. It inspires, entertains, and informs as it encourages everyone to “Fly!”

$19.99 Paperback, $27.49 Autographed Paperback

 See all Products

Lex Gillette's book Fly!