Curtis McGrath (AUS)

Curtis McGrath (AUS)

Date of birth
31 March 1988
Gold Coast, QLD, AUS
Athlete, Veteran


General Interest

Drinking coffee, reading books and playing computer games. (, 03 Apr 2014)
Other sports
"Six months after my injury [March 2013], I swam in the US Marine Trial Games and won a couple of gold medals. That helped me get my competitive edge back." (, 24 Jul 2016)
To win gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Facebook page, 01 Aug 2016)
While serving in the Australian army in Afghanistan in 2012, he was badly injured by an improvised explosive device in Uruzgan Province. Both of his legs were amputated. "I tried to stop the bleeding with my hands, then I tried to use the tourniquet on my body armour. But I was missing the weight of my legs and kept falling back. I was the first aider, so I had to tell the guys what to do and how to put in the IV morphine line." (Facebook page, 01 Aug 2016;, 24 Jul 2016;, 24 Jul 2016)
Other information
He grew up in Queenstown, New Zealand and moved to Australia at age 18 to join the army. "When you join the army, you know there's always the chance you might get injured, or might not come back. But you're there to do a job and you focus on that." He supports Mates4Mates, a charity dedicated to helping current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families who have physical or psychological wounds, injuries or illnesses as a result of their service. (, 01 Jan 2016;, 24 Jul 2016)

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
"I started in whitewater kayaking at school at the age of 15. I didn't paddle much after moving to Australia but after I was injured in Afghanistan I was interested in a sport I was familiar with and para-canoe was the obvious choice."
Why this sport?
Just minutes after sustaining his injuries in Afghanistan, as he was awaiting medical evacuation, he told his fellow soldiers that he wanted to compete at the Paralympic Games. "When they put me on the stretcher and carried me to the vehicles, I said, 'You guys will see me in the Paralympic.' But, waiting for the helicopter, I thought I was going to die. I knew my injuries were severe. When they closed the helicopter door, it felt like my legs were still in the doorway. I guess at that moment I knew I wanted to become a Paralympian and represent my country on the sporting stage."
Club / Team
Varsity Lakes Paddlers Club: Australia
Name of coach
Andrea King [national]
Training Regime
"I train twice a day, six days a week. Each session is an hour and a half to two hours long."


World ChampionshipsKayak single KL2 200mGermany, Duisburg19 May 20162016Men42.0431Latest resultBest result
World ChampionshipsCanoe single VL2 200mGermany, Duisburg19 May 20162016Men51.2671Latest resultBest result
World ChampionshipsKayak single KL2 200mItaly, Milan19 August 20152015Men43.1852Best result
World ChampionshipsCanoe single VL2 200mItaly, Milan20 August 20152015Men49.4891Best result
World ChampionshipsV1 200m TARussia, Moscow8 August 20142014Men48.5961Best result
Paralympic GamesKayak single KL2 200mBrazil, Rio de Janeiro15 September 20162016Men42.1901Latest resultBest result