New Zealand born Curtis McGrath had both of his legs amputated after a mine blast in Afganistan whilst serving in the Australian Army. The Australian paracanoeist has won ten gold medals at ICF Paracanoe World Championships between 2014 and 2019. He won the gold medal in the Men’s KL2 at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
- He joined the Australian Army in 2006.
- He won three gold medals in swimming with his first disability sport experience at the United States Marine Games in San Diego 2012.
- He participated in a 1,000 km paddle from Sydney to Queensland to raise funds for the Mates4Mates.
- In 2014, he won the Australian and Oceania Para Canoeing Championships in V1 200 m, 500 m and 1000 m events.
- Almost two years after losing his legs in Afghanistan, he won the gold medal in the V1 200 TA event in world record time at the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow.
- 2014, he captained the Australian Team at inaugural Invictus Games in London, United Kingdom and won a bronze medal in swimming and made the archery final.
- At the 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, in Milan, Italy, he won a gold medal in the Men’s V–1 200 m VL2 and a silver medal in the Men’s K–1 200 m VL.
- At the 2016 ICF Paracanoe World Championships, Duisburg, Germany, he won two gold medals in Men’s KL2 200m and VL2 200m. In winning the Men’s KL2 200m.
- Winning the Men’s KL2 200 m at the 2016 Rio Paralympics in a Paralympic record time of 42.190. It was Australia’s first gold medal in paracanoe at the Paralympics
- At the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, Račice, Czech Republic, he won gold medals in Men’s KL2 200m and VL2 200m.
- He won gold medals in the Men’s KL2 200m and Men’s VL3 200m at the 2018 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal.
- At the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, Szeged, Hungary, he won gold medals in the Men’s KL2 200m and Men’s VL3 200m.
“…he has overcome those injuries through rehabilitation and intense training to become an elite paracanoeing competitor. Now only three years on from that shocking accident, that shocking event, those wounds, those injuries, he is out on the water representing Australia at Rio, providing an inspiration to our Defence Forces, to all our wounded warriors, those with a disability and those without. His story is a remarkable feat of triumph over adversity, triumph out of tragedy.” – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
”"Even when I was on the stretcher getting carried to the medevac chopper I said I was going to be in the Paralympics, and this is the first step"Curtis McGrathAfter winning the gold - 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
Linda is the Managing Director at KompleteCare Community and Home Care Service – Adelaide, Australia