Hall of Fame Alumni
Roger McCarville Male Athlete of the Year
Elexis "Lex" Gillette is the current world record holder in the long jump, a three-time Paralympic medalist, the reigning world champion in the long jump, and a 15-time national champion. He is the only totally blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump.
In 1992, at just eight years-old, Lex, witnessed his sight slowly fade away due to recurrent retina detachments. Ten operations would not be enough to stabilize what little sight that he had. After the final operation, his mother, Verdina Gillette-Simms, had the difficult task of telling her son that he would most likely never see again. As difficult as this was, Ms. Gillette-Simms vowed to teach her son everything that he would need to know in order to be successful in life. Today, her efforts can be seen through his accomplishments.
At 19, Lex won his first silver medal in the long jump at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. Since that performance, Gillette has solidified himself as a top-notch competitor for Team USA by achieving medal winning performances at every major international competition he has attended to date.
Most recently, in 2011, Les won the gold medal in the long jump by setting the new world record of 6.73m at the Desert Challenge Games in Mesa, Arizona. He earned the bronze medal in the 200m at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, as well as a bronze medal in the triple jump setting a new America world record with 12.55m. In 2012, Lex won the silver medal in the long jump (6.34m) at the Paralympic Games in London England.
In 2013, Lex won the gold medal in the long jump(6.32m) at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon France. He also won the silver medal in the triple jump setting a new American record of 12.66m, and a silver medal in the 4x100 relay with a new American record of 43.62s.
Additionally, Lex has successfully balanced education and athletics. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management from East Carolina University and his a Master Degree of Science in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Lex's next goal is to compete at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, where he aims to make his fourth consecutive U.S. Paralympic team. Lex is also a motivational speaker and singer/song writer. He currently lives in southern California.