INSPIRATIONAL WEDNESDAY: Kurt Fearnley, para-athlete who crawled the Kokoda Track

Kurt Fearnley’s wheelchair racing career is as impressive as it is extensive, with nearly two decades of experience under his belt. He has represented Australia at five Paralympic Games, winning three gold, seven silver and three bronze medals, and was co-captain of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team alongside Para-table tennis player Danni Di Toro.

Kurt began wheelchair racing when he was 14 years old. His family and friends watched his amazing career develop, from pushing his wheelchair as fast as he could down the grass track at school athletics carnivals, to pushing it the last five kilometres of the men’s marathon T54 on a flat tyre to win gold at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

In 2018, Kurt capped his decorated career with gold in the men’s marathon T54 and silver in the men’s 1500m T54 at the Commonwealth Games. After setting a Commonwealth record in the marathon, Kurt became the first Para-athlete in history to carry the Australian flag into a Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.

He climbed Papua New Guinea’s Kokoda Track to raise awareness for men’s health in 2009, and in 2012 was part of the crew that steered the Investec Loyal to victory in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. After his retirement from Para-athletics, Kurt was named the 2019 NSW Australian of the Year. He became the first Paralympian to receive the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s prestigious The Don award, and is a member of Paralympics Australia’s Board of Directors.





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