Lex Gillette's world went dark at the tender age of eight, when his recurring retina damage left him completely blind. But that didn't stop Gillette from becoming one of the nation's greatest athletes. 

He's a 16-time national champion who has defied the odds (and gravity) as Paralympic star in the long jump events. And while he is dominating his sport like the champ he is, Gillette couldn't have done it without one woman by his side: His momma.

After delivering the heartbreaking news to her son that he would never see again, she imparted some words of wisdom that propelled him to the success he has today:

"It does not matter what anyone says. You decide what you can do, and no one else."
And he's done just that ever since. 
Remember those words when you think something is impossible. You might not become an Olympian, but you never know!

Check out the video below: