Kurt Fearnley AO

Kurt Fearnley AO

Kurt Fearnley AO

2019 NSW Australian of the Year

Kurt Fearnley AO is one of Australia’s most well known and respected athletes. His incredible abilities representing Australia in wheelchair sports has earned him an OAM. He was also the first athlete with a disability to win the coveted ‘The Don’ Award, named in honour of the late Sir Donald Bradman AC, and was named 2019 NSW Australian of the Year.

Fearnley’s inspirational attitude contributed more to the image of the event than any other competitor and as a role model for the historic inclusivity of the Games he was honoured with selection as Australian Team Flag Bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

Reflecting on his marathon triumph, Fearnley says he still believes it was one of the greatest moments of his life.

Recently, he was able to finish a 20 year representative career with a dominant Gold Medal performance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, whilst also receiving the honour of carrying the Australian Flag into the Closing Ceremony.

He’s the winner of some of the world’s most prestigious marathons in London, Paris, Rome, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The latter two, 5 times.

He won the Paralympic men’s wheelchair marathon in Athens in 2004 and retained his title in Beijing in 2008. In Athens he also won gold over the 5000m on the track.

In London in 2012 he picked up a bronze medal in the marathon and a silver on the track over 5000m. In Rio 2016 Kurt successfully made the podium for the fourth consecutive time in both the 5000m and Marathon, winning
Bronze and Silver, while serving as the Captain of the Australian Paralympic Team. In total Kurt has thirteen Paralympic medals spanning across 5 games. He’s also a 6 times world champion from 800m to the marathon. His marathon personal best is 1hour 18minutes & 51seconds set in Boston in 2011.

Off the racing circuit Kurt has been a winning crew member of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, taking line honours in 2011 on board the yacht Loyal. However he is most well known for his amazing feat of crawling the
96km Kokoda track.

Kurt is actively involved in various charities as a board member, patron & ambassador. In 2016 Kurt was elected by his peers to be one of six Summer Paralympic Athletes to serve on the International Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Commission.

On the 22 of January 2013 he was given the annual Australian honour of giving the 2013 Australia Day Address.

Quick Facts

  • 70 marathons. 42 wins. 18 additional podium finishes. Marathon wins in 12 countries on five continents.
  • Five-time Paralympian. 13 medals. Three Gold
  • Six-time World Champion
  • 2015 AIS Sports Personality of the Year
  • 2015 Newcastle Citizen of the Year
  • 2007 and 2009 Laureus World Sports Award Finalist
  • Commonwealth Athlete of the Year with a Disability
  • 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year
  • Recipient of Order of Australia Medal in 2004
  • Board member of Australian Volunteers International 2006-2015
  • Contributes as Patron, Ambassador or Volunteer for Wheelchair Sports NSW, St Jude’s school
  • Tanzania, Newcastle Children’s Hospital, Humpty Dumpty Children’s Charity, & more

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