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Australian Paralympic Team co-captain for Paris 2024 Curtis McGrath is one of Australia’s leading Paralympians. But his journey to winning three Paralympic gold medals has taken years of hard work, discipline and commitment.  

Success on the world stage is something no one can achieve on their own. Now your tax-deductible donation can help more Paralympic dreams come true – in Paris and beyond.   

By helping Para-athletes like McGrath to perform at their best, you will help inspire the next generation to dream big, strive for greatness, go for gold and be inspired by those who came before them.  

McGrath thought his sporting day were over in 2012 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while serving with the Australian Army in Afghanistan. 

It forever altered his life and in the dark times that followed, Para-sport became a lifeline and a source of hope.  

“I thought I’d lost everything,” McGrath remembers.  

“My independence. My job. My dreams. I was quite pessimistic and wasn’t very enthusiastic about things for a while.” 

Help tomorrow’s Para-athletes discover their sporting passion: Donate today

Twenty minutes after the accident, as he was carried towards the rescue helicopter by his fellow troops, McGrath now famously said, ‘You guys will see me at the Paralympics’.  

He didn’t know what sport he was going to compete in, but he was determined to rebound and get on with achieving his driving ambitions. 

“I felt like I needed a goal, and I figured that if I got as fit and strong as I could, it would help with my recovery,” McGrath said. 

“I spent a lot of time swimming and at the gym. 

“Sport was such an important part of my healing and recovery. It gave me something familiar. It gave me a purpose, an identity and a direction.”  

After winning gold in Para-canoe at the 2016 Games in Rio, he went on to become the first person to ever win two gold medals in the sport during Tokyo 2020.  

McGrath’s story is the theme for Paralympics Australia’s 2024 Tax Appeal. The Appeal is a reminder that a donation before June 30 is tax-deductible this financial year. 

Support from donors is critical to Paralympics Australia’s ability to run programs such as nationwide get involved initiatives, which offer people with a disability the chance to try Para-sports in a welcoming environment under guidance from top coaches and Paralympians. 

Help more people like Curtis thrive in sport: Donate now

These events are central to Paralympics Australia’s ethos that participation in sport changes lives, particularly for people with a disability. 

“Paralympics Australia has been a big part of my journey,” he said. 

“They were there to support me through the Paralympic Qualifiers back in 2015.   

“They helped connect me with a great coach, and the Paralympic Equipment Fund allowed me to get the adaption I needed to my boat to be able to compete.  

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support I’ve had from Paralympics Australia.” 

For athletes like McGrath, the Paralympic Games gives people who live with a disability hopes and dreams.  

It provides a realm where limitations dissolve and possibilities abound.   

But these amazing athletes can’t do it without your support. 

Help share the life-changing gift of sport: Donate now

Paralympics Australis is a registered Charity with the Australian Charities and not-for-profit Commission, reliant on generous individuals to help get the Australian Paralympic Team to the Paralympic Games.

By: Natalie McGarry, Paralympics Australia

Published: 21 June 2024