Superstar para-canoeist Curtis McGrath has made history once again at the 52nd Gold Coast Sports Star Awards, beating out a stellar field to be named the Gold Coast’s best para athlete of the year for a remarkable fourth consecutive occasion.
The phenomenal story of the decorated war-veteran turned sporting superstar is well documented, with the champion athlete well respected for not only his achievements with the paddle, but also his attitude and resolve towards life.
Curtis’ 2019 campaign was outstanding even by the lofty standards we have come to expect of him, taking out the KL2 200m and VL3 200m events at the Para-Canoe World Championships in Hungary, subsequently sealing his ninth and tenth consecutive World Titles in the process.
To cap off a stellar year, Curtis was also named the Male Para-Athlete of the Year at the 2019 Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards.
The Para-Sport Sports Star of the Year category was long overdue when first awarded in 2014, a category of which Curtis has now won five of the possible six years!
Sports competition for para-sport has boomed over the past decade and the popularity of events such as the Paralympics proves there is a community appreciation for this sports category and an understanding that para athletes can reach the same elite status as their able-bodied peers.
In fact the Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame judging criteria is the same for the Sports Star of the Year as for the Para Sports Star of the Year: “The Athlete must have competed and achieved a significant result at the highest level of competition in their chosen sport during the calendar year of the nominated awards”.
Outside of his sporting achievements Curtis has been awarded an Order of Australian Medal and is a proud ambassador of Mates4Mates, which supports current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel who have been wounded or injured as a result of their service.
The Para-Sports Star of the Year Award was presented by Orbitz Elevators, a proud supporter of Sports Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Sports Star Awards, with Orbitz’ Marketing Manager Justin Lee on hand to present Curtis with the trophy.
This superstar will now have his eyes firmly set on Tokyo 2020 after also dominating in the Tokyo Test Event in 2019 on the very circuit where he will aim for Paralympic Gold later this year.