2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year
Kurt Fearnley is a world champion wheelchair athlete with a can do attitude that makes the impossible possible. His infectious energy and passion for life inspires and motivates audiences across age groups and industries.
In 2010 Kurt Fearnley competed in his fifth consecutive New York marathon. Having claimed four consecutive wins, this time round he came in third. An impressive, yet personally disappointing result, it topped off a year in which Kurt won gold at the Commonwealth games in Delhi and a sixth Sydney Marathon title.
In 2009, his achievements included his fourth New York Marathon title, his third consecutive win in the Chicago Marathon and victories in Seoul, Paris, London, and Sydney. As if that were not enough, Kurt's most grueling challenge for the year was to crawl the Kakoda Trail. He took on this last challenge for 2009 to raise awareness of mens' health issues.
About Kurt Fearnley:
Kurt Fearnley was born without the lower portion of his spine, yet despite this, he's always been willing to have a go at everything.
The youngest of five children from the small western NSW town of Carcoar, sport was always a big part of his family's life. Ignoring his disability, he happily played in everything against his able-bodied brothers and mates.
With an indomitable spirit, Kurt took up wheelchair racing when he was 14. From pushing his everyday wheelchair as fast as he could down the grass track at school athletics carnivals to pushing his chair the last five kilometres on a flat tyre at the Athens Paralympics, he went on to win gold in the toughest marathon in Paralympic history. His determination and never-say-die attitude have rewarded him with the highest accolades in disability sport.
In 2010 Kurt was immortalized with his image featured on the medals for the 2010 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.
The facts about Kurt Fearnley:
- 43 marathons. 31 wins. Ten additional podium finishes
- Marathon wins in 10 countries on five continents.
- Three-time Paralympian. Eleven medals. Three Gold
- Six-time World Champion
- 2007 and 2009 Laureus World Sports Award Finalist
- Commonwealth Athlete of the Year with a Disability
- 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year
- Ambassador - Day of Difference Foundation
- Ambassador - International Day of People with a Disability
- 3rd-New York marathon Nov '10
- 1st - Sydney Marathon, September '10
- Gold-1500m Delhi Commonwealth Games
- Gold-IPC World Championships Marathon, Christchurch Jan '11
- 1st-Oz Day 10km, Sydney Jan '11
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