3 x Paralympic Gold Medallist who's crawled the Kokoda Track
Kurt Fearnley is world-beater in and out of his racing wheelchair. The three-time Paralympic Gold Medallist has won marathons all around the world, including the prestigious New York, London and Chicago marathons multiple times. His exploits are not confined to wheelchair racing having crawled the Kokoda track and sailing on a winning Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race crew. His infectious energy and passion for life inspires and motivates audiences across age groups and industries.
Raised in the small country town of Carcoar, Kurt Fearnley has always been determined. Being born without the lower portion of his spine has never held him back, from backyard games of football to crawling along the Great Wall of China, he always has a go.
Turning his attention to wheelchair sports in his teens, Kurt quickly became a world beater. He started his career with two Silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic games, before making his winning breakthrough at the 2004 Athens Paralympics with Gold in the 5000m and marathon races. Following the 2004 games, Kurt conquered the world, winning seven world championships and more than 20 marathons around the globe, including 10 marathons in 2007 and three straight New York marathon titles. He solidified his standing as a Paralympic great by defending his Gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics and continues to excel over a range of distances on both the track and road. At the London 2012 games, Kurt won Silver on the track and again finished in the marathon reckoning with a Bronze medal result.
In 2009 Kurt crawled Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track and was a member of the 2012 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race winning crew aboard Investec Loyal. In 2014 Kurt released his autobiography, "Pushing the Limits"
Kurt is a passionate disability advocate and devotes himself to a number of national and Hunter-based charitable initiatives. He is a member of the Independent Advisory Council of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a board member of Australian Volunteers International and a Council Member of the NSW Australia Day Council. As a qualified Physical Education teacher, Kurt travels throughout NSW teaching high-school children in small and large communities. Kurt's exploits both in and out of sport saw him recognised as the 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year.
- 54 marathons. 35 wins. 14 additional podium finishes
- Marathon wins in 10 countries on five continents
- Four-time Paralympian. Eleven medals. Three Gold
- Seven-time World Champion
- 2007 and 2009 Laureus World Sports Award Finalist
- Commonwealth Athlete of the Year with a Disability
- Ambassador - Day of Difference Foundation
- Ambassador - International Day of People with a Disability
- 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year
Kurt was received very, very well. It is rare that we have a completely engaged audience. No one checked their phone or left early and though not many people had questions for Kurt straight after his presentation, staff are still talking about how good he was.
Department of Infrastructure & Transport
Kurt is warm, engaging, funny and inspirational. Without a doubt, he is one of Australia's most focussed and exceptional athletes - his list of achievements speaks for itself. Despite this, he is supremely modest and unassuming. From the moment he "rolled" up onto the stage we were captivated, inspired and amused. Kurt left us all in a better place and motivated to achieve. We could not have found a better speaker for our conference.
Avenue Capital Management
He was simply inspirational. He is also a very personal young man who spent some time talking with the Red Bend Catholic College students who were present and shared his experiences with them by letting them handle three of his medals - his Silver Medal from the Sydney Olympics, his Gold Medal from the Athens Olympics and his solid Gold Medal for winning the New York Marathon last year.
Red Bend Catholic College
Fantastic, the response was appropriate and certainly helped cement our key conference message of Making it Possible. The way Kurt blended stories and experience made it simple for delegates to connect and contextualise the message to their own circumstance.
The audience was captivated throughout Kurt's appearance and walked away motivated and inspired.
Kurt was extremely well received by the audience, in fact the feedback received from the group was excellent, they all really enjoyed hearing his stories and the challenges that he faced in his life (and overcome).
Ernst & Young
I have seldom been so impressed by a key note as I was with Kurt Fearnley. Kurt’s discussion was exceptionally well received. You could hear a pin drop throughout the 45 minutes Kurt spoke and there was good Q&A later. Kurt’s willingness to interact prior to the dinner, throughout the dinner and afterwards was excellent. We had many comments regarding how approachable he is. His discussion was frank, honest and sometimes confronting. He spoke from experience and everyone in the room (120 people) left the event talking about how elements of the discussion resonated at both a personal and professional level.
Amazing audience response. He received a standing ovation. Highlight of our conference
Loved him – you could hear a pin drop and received a standing ovation
NSW Touch Association
You could have heard a pin drop with an audience of 400. Moving story, great guy, Would have him back again. Highly recommend him, very inspiring.