“Navigating the World in Darkness and Light: A Conversation with Paralympic Champion Lex Gillette”
In a captivating episode of our business travel podcast, I had the incredible honor of interviewing Elexis “Lex” Gillette, a beacon of determination and inspiration in the world of Paralympic sports. Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, and now pursuing his dreams in Chula Vista, California, Lex’s journey transcends borders and challenges.
Diving into the conversation, we explored the remarkable life of Lex, a Paralympic athlete who competes fearlessly in T11 (track) and F11 (field) events, proudly representing the United States on the global stage. But Lex’s travels aren’t confined to the realm of sports; he also embarks on journeys that fulfill his role as a motivational speaker, captivating audiences with his compelling story.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of airports, Lex shared his unique perspective on traversing the world as a visually impaired traveler. We delved into his strategies for maneuvering through the intricate labyrinth of terminals and navigating the often bewildering landscape of services. From navigating security checkpoints with precision to finding solace in the little pockets of comfort, Lex’s insights shed light on a side of travel seldom explored.
As the world grappled with the upheavals brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t help but discuss the potential impact on Lex’s unwavering quest for a Paralympic gold medal. The pandemic’s shadow cast uncertainty on even the most steadfast of dreams, and we pondered the ways in which Lex’s resilience would shine through these trying times.
With the spotlight firmly fixed on the horizon, Lex shared his anticipation for the Japan 2021 Paralympics, a stage where his determination and skill would undoubtedly dazzle. And if you’re seeking a speaker who can ignite motivation and inspire change, Lex’s website stands as a testament to his transformative ability to connect with audiences.
In this episode, we traversed the world through Lex’s eyes, discovering the courage that propels him forward and the challenges that shape his remarkable journey. So, join us as we uncover the depths of Lex Gillette’s travels, finding light in the midst of darkness and inspiration in every step he takes.
Connect with Lex Gillette on his social media pages:
Lex’s listening choice while traveling for work is:
Lex listens to music when traveling.
He competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, where he won silver in the men’s long jump F11 event. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, he won a silver medal in the men’s long jump F11 event and finished fifth in the men’s triple jump F11. He competed in 100 m and 200 m T11 events but did not advance to the finals. At the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, he won a third consecutive silver medal in the men’s long jump F11 event and finished fourth in the triple jump event. 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, he won a fourth consecutive silver medal in the men’s Long Jump – T11 event.
At the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, he won gold in the men’s long jump F11 event and he also won silver in the triple jump event. Gillette was a part of the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships 4 × 100 m relay team that won a silver medal and set a new American record in the process. Gillette broke his own long jump world record for F11 classified athletes of 6.73 m (22 feet 1 inch) with a leap of 6.77 m (22 feet 2 in.) on April 23, 2015, at a high performance meet held at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center.
He attended Athens Drive High School and graduated from East Carolina University in 2007.
In November 2015, Gillette received the Athletes in Excellence Award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development, in recognition of his community service efforts and work with youth.
Lex Gillette is also a musician. He plays the piano and enjoys singing. Gillette released a music single on April 16, 2012 that was originally titled Go for Gold and was later changed to On the Stage.
While in high school, Gillette was introduced to beep ball, a modified form of baseball for the visually impaired and blind. In 2003, Gillette was recruited to play with the West Coast Dawgs of the National Beep Baseball Association. His first role with the team consisted mostly of designated hitter duties, but in 2005, Gillette became the starting right fielder for the Dawgs. In 2005 West Coast finished 5th in the World Series that were held in Houston, Texas. 2006 saw the Dawgs play in the championship game where they lost to the Taiwan Home Run. The 2007 World Series of Beep Ball were held in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Dawgs returned to the championship game only to lose to the Kansas All Stars. In 2008, Gillette won his first World Series title with the West Coast Dawgs as they outlasted Kansas for the world title. He was named to the offensive all-star team in the same year. The Dawgs returned to the 2009 World Series title game and repeated as champions against the Taiwan Home Run. In both 2010, and 2011, the West Coast Dawgs played in the World Series title game against the Taiwan Home Run, and both times, Gillette scored the game-winning run to put the Dawgs on top as world champions. ESPN’s E60 featured Gillette and the West Coast Dawgs’ 2011 title run.
Lex Gillette Day
Mayor David S. Gysberts and Washington County Board of Commissioners Terry Baker proclaimed September 25 Lex Gillette Day in both Hagerstown, Maryland and Washington County.