Blake Leeper is a U.S. Paralympic athlete. The 24-year-old uses prosthetic blades and has competed internationally since 2009. He won a silver and bronze medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games and three silvers and a gold in the 2013 IPC World Championships. He was born without his legs below the knees. He also happens to be a huge Bo Jackson fan. But when Leeper appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show Monday night, he had no idea he would come face-to-face with the person he credits for being his inspiration.
Leeper began the interview with Hall explaining to the talk show host how the former two-sport star was his hero growing up. Leeper added that the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner was his favorite athlete even before Jackson’s hip injury that ended his NFL career. But it was Bo’s comeback in baseball — with a prosthetic hip — that truly motivated Leeper. The two met briefly in 1993 and Leeper asked anyone who met him thereafter to call him “Bo”. So when Hall asked that Leeper’s blades be brought out to the set, the young man was stunned to see who was doing the honors: none other than Jackson himself (cue to the 3:15 mark on this clip for the priceless moment). Jackson later revealed Leeper is the same age as his youngest son and said the pride he feels for the young athlete is the same he would feel as if it was his own child. With his sights set on Rio 2016, Leeper is attempting to become the first disabled American to compete in the Olympic Games.