Lex Gillette

Sport: Track & Field

As a child growing up with sight, Lex did anything that a typical child would do. He played video games, rode bicycles and played sports with friends. One particular evening while Lex was cleaning up for bed, he began noticing that his sight was blurred. The next day, a doctor’s examination revealed that he was suffering from a retina detachment. The issue was fixed and he could see clearly again for the next three weeks.

The third week passed and his retina had detached again, so he had another operation. Lex’s sight had been cleared up once more. Unfortunately, this was the pattern for the remainder of the year and after his thirteenth eye operation, doctors said there was nothing they could do to save his sight. Over the next few months, he saw the world vanish before his eyes.

It was difficult in the beginning, but Lex’s mom promised him that he would be able to do amazing things, he would just have to do them in a different way. He learned to read braille so he could get through school and he learned to travel in public independently. His confidence grew immensely.

While in high school, Lex was introduced to Paralympic sport by one of his teachers. His teacher decided to take Lex to a sports camp specifically for individuals who are visually impaired, where he learned about the Paralympics.

When he left the camp, Lex knew he wanted to compete in the Paralympic Games one day. With a natural talent for jumping, Lex continued to hone his skills as a co-captain on his high school track and field team. After college, Lex earned his first trip to the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games where he brought home his first silver medal for Team USA.
 
Lex has since brought home 3 additional silver medals for Team USA in 2008, 2012 and more recently at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
 
Lex works closely with The Hartford, a Founding Partner of U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, helping to positively change public attitudes and perceptions about disability.
 
For more information about Lex’s accomplishments, visit Team USA’s website.
 
 
The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries including issuing companies Hartford Life Insurance Company and Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company. Home office is Hartford, CT. 5833j NS 01/16. 36USC220506
 
Photo by Joe Kusumoto