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Sapper Curtis McGrath, OAM

ADF Service: Joined the Army in 2006 as Combat Engineer. I served in Afghanistan in 2012.

Age: 29

Hometown: Queenstown, New Zealand.

Current Town: Gold Coast, Queensland

Competing in: Indoor rowing and wheelchair rugby

Curtis McGrath

What is the Nature of your injury or illness?

I was three months into my tour of Afghanistan in 2012, when I stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device and lost both my legs. I was flown to Germany where I was operated on every 36 hours for the next eight days. Once back home I had four surgeries to close up my wounds and then started rehabilitation. Within three months, I was walking on prosthetic legs in order to march in the welcome home parade.

What role has sport played in your rehabilitation?

Losing my legs was incredibly hard and the rehabilitation was challenging and emotional. At times I wanted to give up, but after I learnt to swim again I felt motivated to go on to bigger sporting events.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

The honour of being the Australian flag bearer at the Rio Paralympics Closing Ceremony.

Why did you apply for the Invictus Games?

Competing in both the 2014 and 2016 Invictus Games has given me focus and provided me with motivation. It's a great moment when you see an athlete who has gone through a similar situation get a medal and really enjoy themselves doing it. Reconnecting with the defence community and making great new friends.