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Kurt Fearnley

b. 1981

Kurt Fearnley (b. 1981), athlete, won gold medals in the Athens and Beijing Paralympic marathons. Born without the lower portion of his spine, Fearnley grew up in the NSW town of Carcoar, NSW, engaging energetically in football and other family pursuits in the surrounding paddocks. Taking up wheelchair racing at the age of fourteen, he won silver in the 2000 Sydney Olympics before winning gold at Athens, wheeling the last five kilometres of the marathon on a flat tyre. In the subsequent Paralympics at Beijing, he won silver in the 800m and bronze in the 1500m, but pushed to a gold medal in the marathon. A couple of months later he won the Chicago and New York marathons; in New York, it was a record-breaking third consecutive victory. Having crawled the Kokoda Track in 2009, he was a crew member on the victorious Investec Loyal in the 2011 Sydney to Hobart yacht race. At the 2012 London Olympics he won silver in the 5000m, and bronze in the marathon (by 0.01 of a second). In 2013 he won the London marathon, bringing his international marathon victory tally to 31. Six times winner of the Sydney marathon and a national finalist as Young Australian of the Year in 2013, he delivered the 2013 Australia Day address.

Updated 2018