Name: Lex Gillette
Sport: Track and Field
Discipline(s): Track and Field
Event(s): Long jump, 100-meter
Classification: T11/F11
Height: 6-1
DOB: 10/19/1984
Birthplace: Kinston, N.C.
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
High School: Athens Drive High School (Raleigh, N.C.) '03
College: East Carolina University '07, Recreation Management; University of Phoenix '12, Marketing (MBA)
Paralympic 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)
World Championship Experience
  • Most recent: 2019 – gold (long jump)
  • Years of Participation: 2006, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019
  • 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)
Personal: 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 game