World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

      Blake Leeper{}told{}Anniston students Friday{}about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989."Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs.{}{}I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens."Mr. Leeper, I know you have an older son.{} He's healthy and I know you love sports, but Blake will probably never play sports.{} You won't coach him, and he might want to find some activities for him sitting down.{} It looks like he's going to be in a wheelchair his whole life."Blake Leeper won a gold medal in running 24 years later.He and USA teammates Richard Browne,{}Jerome Singleton, and Jarryd Wallace, hold the world record in the men's 4x100 meter relay for disabled athletes.{} The team completed the race in just 40.76 seconds at the 2013 IPC World Championships in France.That broke the previous world record, set at the 2012 London Paralympics, by more than a second.Leeper won a silver medal in the 400 meters and a bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 2012 London Paralympics.{} His message to the students and faculty of Anniston High School that it was not until he worked together as part of a team that he finally won a world championship."It's okay to ask for help and sometimes you're going to need to ask for help.{} If you stay strong with the right mindset, the right determination, with the right focus, you can overcome any challenge," he said.

      He encouraged students not to focus on worrying about negative outcomes.{} Instead of asking "why me", ask "why not me", Leeper said.

      He said he knew from the beginning that he had two disabilities, but learned he has 1,000 more abilities.

      "Every day I put one leg on at a time, walk out the door, and show the world what I can do," he said.

      Leeper{}is now training for the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.{} He also hopes to become the second runner with prosthetic legs to qualify for the Olympics, and first for Team USA.

      You can see the world-record setting race here.{} Leeper runs fourth, the "anchor leg", which starts about 3:08 into the video.