Degree Hosts First-Ever Metaverse Marathon Featuring Blake Leeper, Fat Joe, Amy Purdy, Héctor Herrera

Written By Simon Mwebaze

Ever wanted to run a marathon? How about a marathon alongside the likes of Paralympic medalist Blake Leeper, Grammy-nominated recording artist Fat Joe, para-snowboarder Amy Purdy, or pro-footballer Hector Herrera?

Now’s your chance! The Metathon, brought to Decentraland by Degree, is “a run for more inclusive representation of movement” in Decentraland” that you can join from the comfort of your laptop.

Noting that everyone should be free to move how they want in the virtual as well as the physical world, the Metathon team says the event will feature the first ever adaptive wearables in Decentraland and a wheelchair-friendly course — in the hopes that the event will help to jumpstart a journey in designing accessible and inclusive virtual movement spaces for the disability community.

Hop in Tuesday, April 26. at 10:00pm UTC, through Wednesday, April 27, 10:00pm UTC, to help smash barriers to movement in the metaverse.

Blake Leeper

Blake Leeper is a United States Paralympic athlete, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist, world record holder and three-time American record holder.

Leeper started his medal run in 2011 at the Parapan American Games where he took silver in the 100-meter dash. He went on to compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where he picked up two more medals, a bronze in the 200-meter dash and silver in the 400-meter dash, losing to South African Oscar Pistorius, whose world record of 45.39 seconds is the one Leeper was chasing.

In 2013, Leeper also took four medals at the Paralympic World Championships in Lyon, France, where he ran as part of the world record-setting 4×100-meter relay gold medal team. At the same event he took the silver medal in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 400-meter dash. Leeper’s medal collection includes one gold, six silver and one bronze. Over his career, he hopes to win more medals than any Paralympic athlete in track and field. In addition to the medals he has already won, Leeper holds one 2013 Paralympic world record in the 4 × 100 m relay and three American records in the 100-meter dash (10.91), the 200-meter dash (21.7) and the 400-meter dash (44.42-Prague 2018).

Leeper’s world record for his part in the 4×100-meter relay still stands today.

Fat Joe

Joseph Antonio Cartagena, better known by his stage name Fat Joe, is an American rapper from New York City.

He began his music career as a member of hip hop group Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), then forged a solo career and set up his own label, Terror Squad, to which he signed Big Pun, Remy Ma, Tony Sunshine, Cuban Link, Armageddon, Prospect, Triple Seis, and a then-unknown DJ Khaled, as well as discover producers Cool & Dre. Fat Joe’s debut solo album, Represent, was released in 1993 and spawned the single “Flow Joe”, which reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart. His most commercially successful album to date was Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.) (2001); it was certified platinum by the RIAA and internationally certified silver by the BPI, as well as reaching the top 100 on multiple music charts. He is best known for the songs “Lean Back” (2004; with Terror Squad), “What’s Luv?” (2002; featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule), “Make It Rain” (2006; featuring Lil Wayne), and “All the Way Up” (2016; with Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Dre). Fat Joe has appeared in several films, including Scary Movie 3 and Happy Feet, as well as Spike Lee’s Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.

In 2018 he began hosting a podcast on Tidal, Coca Vision, where he discusses music, friendships, and pop culture with various guests. His album Family Ties was released in December 2019.

Amy Purdy

Amelia Michelle “Amy” Purdy is an American actress, model, para-snowboarder, motivational speaker, clothing designer and author.

Purdy is a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, 2018 Paralympics silver medalist, and co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports. She was born in Las Vegas in 1979. When she was 19 years old, she contracted Neisseria meningitidis, a form of bacterial meningitis. The disease affected her circulatory system when the infection led to septic shock; both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee, she lost both kidneys, and her spleen had to be removed. Doctors gave Purdy a 2% chance of survival.

Two years later, she received a kidney transplant from her father. Purdy began snowboarding seven months after she received her prosthetic legs. About a year after her legs were amputated, she finished third in a snowboarding competition at Mammoth Mountain. Subsequently, she received a grant from the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization. Through this grant, she was able to compete in several snowboarding competitions in the U.S. In 2003, Purdy was recruited by the CAF as spokesperson, and she moved to San Diego to be closer to the CAF headquarters. In San Diego, she continued her pre-amputee profession as a massage therapist. She also became involved in the modeling and acting industry.

In February 2003, she played a model in a Madonna music video. Later in 2003, Purdy started working for Freedom Innovations, a prosthetic feet manufacturer, as its “Amputee Advocate”. She has gone on to co-found her own non-profit organization, Adaptive Action Sports, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA for individuals with physical disabilities who want to get involved in action sports (snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing) or art and music.

In 2005, Purdy made her film debut in What’s Bugging Seth, a movie by Eli Steele. She was named one of ESPNW’s Impact 25 in 2014,[8] and one of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 visionaries and influential leaders in 2016. She retired from competitive sports in March 2022.


Héctor Herrera

Héctor Miguel Herrera López is a Mexican professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club Atlético Madrid and the Mexico national team.

He has signed a pre-contract with Major League Soccer club Houston Dynamo beginning 1 July 2022. Herrera began his career with Pachuca in 2010 and spent three years at the club before joining FC Porto. He struggled for playing time in his first season in Portugal before gradually cementing his place in the starting eleven. Since the 2015–16 season, Herrera served as club captain. In his six years with Porto, Herrera made 245 appearances across all competitions, winning a Primeira Liga title and two Supertaça cups. A full international since 2012, Herrera won the Olympic gold medal in that year’s football tournament, and was part of Mexico’s winning team at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2013 and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the Copa América Centenario.

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