Kurt Harry Fearnley, AO (born 23 March 1981) is an Australian wheelchair racer, who has won gold medals at the Paralympic Games and 'crawled' the Kokoda Track.He has a congenital disorder called … [9], In 2020 Fearnley started a media career, joining the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to host a long form television interview program Kurt Fearnley's One Plus One.[33]. This page was last edited on 7 September 2020, at 07:59. Surrounded by an incredibly supportive family (Kurt … I had my Mum and Dad and my four other brothers and sisters sitting around me constantly telling me I can do anything. Now come on, let’s grow inclusion for all of our community. Sometimes that role may just be to listen to the voices of people with disability themselves. [31], At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Fearnley won the gold medal in the Men's Marathon T54 and silver in the Men's 1500 T54. After setting a Commonwealth record in the marathon, Kurt became the first …. [28][29] On Australia Day 2016, he won the Oz Day 10K Wheelchair Road Race for the tenth time joining Louise Sauvage as a ten-time winner of this prestigious wheelchair road race. [18] He completed the 96-kilometre (60 mi) journey[19] in 10 days. Let’s grow inclusion for all of our community. Kurt has won three Paralympic gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and more than 40 marathons, including the New York, Chicago and London marathons. [7][6] He was born with sacral agenesis; he is missing certain parts of his lower spine and all of his sacrum. This year on international day of people with disability, we urge schools to get involved. Following this he won two gold medals in the 5000 m T54 and marathon T54 events at the 2004 Athens Paralympics,[15] for which he received a Medal of the Order of Australia. Participating in his third Paralympics in Beijing, he won a gold medal in the marathon T54, two silver medals in the 800 m T54 and 5000 m T54 events and a bronze medal in the 1500 m T54 event. [10] He is 1.4 metres (4 ft 7 in) tall and weighs 50 kilograms (110 lb). That could be your neighbour, your teacher or your child. “What I most want to achieve as this years’ patron is for people to use International Day of People with Disability as a launching pad for further action,” he said. [26] In November 2014, he won his fifth New York Marathon men's wheelchair event. the Australian Paralympic Team! He became the first Paralympian to receive the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s prestigious The Don award, and is a member of Paralympics Australia’s Board of Directors. Kurt Fearnley's sensational Australia Day Address ... they took me home and I took up my place as the shortest member of the Fearnley family. He focuses on long and middle-distance wheelchair races, and has also won medals in sprint relays. There are lots of ways you can help celebrate International Day of People with Disability in the lead up to the 3rd of December. He went to the 2002 IPC Athletics World Championships in Birmingham, England and finished 7th in both the 400 m and 800 m T54 events. In the same year his image was featured on the medal for the 2010 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. [11] Their first son, Harry, was born in 2013 with a second child, a daughter Emilia born in 2017. He was given the honour of the flag bearer at the closing ceremony. He has represented Australia at five Paralympic Games, winning three gold, seven silver and three bronze medals, and was co-captain of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team alongside Para-table tennis player Danni Di Toro. With nearly two decades of experience under his belt, Kurt Fearnley’s wheelchair racing career is as impressive as it is extensive. Kurt Fearnley, International Day of People with Disability patron for 2019, is a man who has achieved things most of us can only dream of. [12], In 2014, his autobiography Pushing the Limits: Life, Marathons & Kokoda was published.[13]. Early life & sporting success. Kurt Harry Fearnley, AO[1][2] (born 23 March 1981) is an Australian wheelchair racer, who has won gold medals at the Paralympic Games and 'crawled' the Kokoda Track. Kurt began wheelchair racing when he was 14 years old. [23] He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games in the 1500 m T54 event. [27], At the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, he finished fourth in the Men's 5000 m T54 and did not progress to the final of the Men's 1500 m T54. Help give them the best chance to win gold. But we still have a long way to go in breaking down barriers, ensuring people with disability can reach their full potential. [9] He lives in Newcastle and is a teacher. [15] He also represented his country in the demonstration sport of Men's 1500 m wheelchair, where he came 4th. Despite this, people with disability are less likely to have a job and face daily challenges people without disability rarely do. When I think of my childhood and growing up in the bush, it feels like a story from the Fifties not the Eighties. [17] In November 2009, Fearnley crawled the Kokoda Trail accompanied by family and friends in support of Movember and Beyond Blue. As this year’s patron, I want to advocate for my community and increase awareness and understanding of people with disability. I met Kurt while I was working as early childhood art educator at The Rumpus Room Childcare Centre. As 2019 patron of International Day of People with Disability, Kurt hopes to encourage Australians to take concrete action, to help make change in the lives of people with disability. After leaving Blayney High School, he moved to Sydney to train and start a Bachelor of Human Movement degree. He has represented Australia at five Paralympic Games, winning three … In Paralympic events he is classified in the T54 classification. [32], Fearnley was coached by Andrew Dawes at the New South Wales Institute of Sport. Kurt has won three Paralympic gold medals, two … With nearly two decades of experience under his belt, Kurt Fearnley’s wheelchair racing career is as impressive as it is extensive. ABN: 41 810 234 213, Physical Impairment – Lumbar sacral agenesis. We don’t need to be ‘fixed’ and are not a problem. 2019 – Kurt Fearnley Scholarship established by. 2019 – Patron for International Day of People with Disability. Fearnley indicated he will race in the wheelchair marathon at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and continue to race marathons on the international circuit. [30], At his last Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Fearnley won the silver medal in the Men's Marathon T54 and the bronze medal in the Men's 5000 m T53/54. Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016, Winning gold in the men’s marathon T54 at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. 2018 Supported by the Australian Government. Kurt Fearnley … 2018 – Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to people with a disability, as a supporter of, and fundraiser for indigenous athletics and charitable organisations, and as a Paralympic athlete. Kurt Fearnley. And then I had Carcoar which is a town of 200 people every time I see them they were telling me I can do anything and I think if you have that enough, you're going to be determined. You're told constantly from when you're a kid that everything is possible, that I don't think there's any other alternative but to start to believe that. In 1997, Fearnley was a member of the Western Region Academy of Sport[14] and by the 2000 Sydney Paralympics was representing Australia. [15], On 30 September 2009, Fearnley conducted a training climb of Sydney's Centrepoint Tower's 1,504 fire stairs in 20 minutes, taking them two at a time. He left Doha immediately to compete in the New York Marathon where he finished fifth after crashing at the 12-mile mark. 2012 Australian Paralympic Team portrait of Fearnley. We need to talk honestly about the barriers in society that prevent this and work together to break them down.”. ACN: 061 547 957.