Curtis McGrath OAM is a former 1st Brigade soldier and gold medal athlete. After being badly wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2012, Curtis lost both of his legs. 20 minutes after the blast, Curtis joked with his mates about become a Paralympian. In his talk, Curtis explores the humour, resilience and teamwork needed during recovery and establishing his new life. Curtis discusses the importance of having a team supporting you – especially as a high performance athlete – and how setting goals makes the satisfaction of success even greater.

In his speech, Curtis describes his injuries and his path towards the Paralympics where he would go on to win consecutive gold medals in the Men's KL2 at Rio in 2016 and Tokyo in 2020. As one of Australia's favourite athletes, his presentation provides a lived experience that is sure to inspire and resonate.

The presentation took place at the Human Performance Optimisation Symposium hosted by 1st Brigade at the Darwin Convention Centre on 16 September '22.