The Physical Performance Show: Curtis McGrath – Paralympic KL2 Champion, 6 x World Champion Paracanoe (OAM)

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Curtis McGrath

Episode 95: Curtis McGrath – Paralympic KL2 Champion, 6 x World Champion Paracanoe (OAM)

In episode 95 of The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer sits down with Curtis McGrath – Paralympic KL2 Champion, 6 x World Champion Paracanoe (OAM). At age 24 years in 2012, Curtis tragically lost both legs after stepping on a homemade improvised explosive device in a blast in Afghanistan while on active duty as a Combat Engineer.

This is an inspiring story of triumph over tragedy where Curtis went on to become a Gold Medallist in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games 200m KL2 sprint canoe (4 years to date post the incident), he is a Paracanoe world champion (5 years to date of injury) and Invictus Games Ambassador. This is an episode not to be missed as it will move and inspire you.

To listen to Episode 95:


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Listen in as we delve into the following:

  • Paddling with sharks
  • Growing up in Queenstown as a teenager
  • Moving to Australia
  • Exiting the military after 12 years
  • The first introduction to kayaking and developing a respect of the water
  • Enlisting in the AUS military in 2006 and the first deployment to East Timor
  • The rigours of jungle training
  • Leaving a legacy of East Timor with humanitarian work
  • Deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 as a Combat Engineer in the Australian Defence Force
  • An incident in Afghanistan that resulted in Curtis losing both of his legs
  • Being the paramedic for himself-telling mates how to put tourniquets on legs
  • Extent of his injuries and rehabilitation.
  • Declaring that his mates would see him in the Paralympics in the green and gold
  • Performance Round and so much more

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‘Putting those processes through your head every 2 seconds.’ – Zone
‘This is it!’ – Mantra
‘Drinking Chocolate Milk and an Ice Bath’ – Best Recover Tip
‘Look at what you have, rather than what you don’t have.’
‘You can’t assume anything until you are sitting on the start line.’
‘Transitioning into military is one of shock and awe.’

Curtis McGrath Curtis McGrath

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0:00 Start
4:40 What scares Curtis the most
7:00 Growing up in Queenstown NZ
10:00 Transitioning into the Military
15:20 Early Military Years
17:00 Humanitarian Aid in East Timor
20:00 Deployment to Afghanistan
23:05 The incident in Afghanistan that resulted in Curtis losing both of his legs
28:30 Talking the team through the first aid
32:00 Declaring while injured that he would be in the Paralympics
35:30 Rehabilitation
38:40 Posture Changes
47:00 Mindset and defining moments
50:00 Meeting Prince Harry
54:00 Moving crafts
1:01:00 Winning the Paralympics
1:06:00 Performance Round
1:10:00 Morning training
1:16:00 Boat Modifications
1:20:00 Mantra
1:23:00 Being in the zone
1:30:00 Recovery Tip
1:34:00 General Training week
1:37:00 Bucket List
1:40:00 Life after the Rio Olympics
1:42:00 Best Advice
1:49:40 Finish

Curtis McGrath

Curtis’ Gold Medal Paddle Rio 2016 Paralympics

People Mentioned:

For questions and comments about this Episode

Send to the show host @Brad_Beer (Twitter)

The Physical Performance Show Brad Beer

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