Curtis McGrath was serving as an Australian Army combat engineer in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device, causing multiple life threatening injuries including the loss of his right leg above the knee and left leg below the knee. Despite fighting shock, blood loss and excruciating pain, it was Curtis, as the combat first-aid medic for his team, who instructed the soldiers around him on how best to perform first aid on his wounds.  Incredibly, as he was being airlifted to safety he made a vow to his fellow soldiers that they would see him see him represent his country again, this time at the Paralympic Games in Rio. After spending 18 hours in an Afghan hospital, the New Zealand native was flown to a US air base in Germany where he was prepared by medical staff to fly the long haul journey home to Brisbane.… Read More

Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Right above knee and left below knee limb loss
How acquired
Improvised explosive device explosion in Afghanistan
Date of Birth
March 31, 1988
Varsity Lakes, QLD
Sapper in the Australian Defence Force
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Rio 2016


Richie McCaw

Career Highlights

Winning the 2014 ICF Para-canoe World Championships in Moscow almost two years to the day that he lost his legs

Greatest Moment

The All Blacks winning the 2011 Rugby World Cup

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Canoe Disciplines: 200m Sprint Classification: KL2