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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics: Meet Para-canoe Curtis Mcgrath who lost his legs fighting against the Taliban

Curtis Mcgrath was employed as a combat engineer with the Australian army and was centred in Afghanistan when a blast by Taliban led to him losing his legs.

Australian Para Athlete Curtis Mcgrath

Curtis Mcgrath (Source:


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 19 Aug 2021 8:57 AM GMT

Just days after the United States of America started withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, the terrorist organisation, Taliban, recaptured the country after almost 20 years on Sunday. The entire world is still in shock at how things escalated so quickly as the Afghani government surrendered.

The rule of the Taliban on the country is expected to put a lot of restrictions on the citizens of Afghanistan, especially women. Everything, including sports, is expected to take a hit.

In fact, the two-member Afghanistan contingent, which was supposed to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics too has withdrawn after they failed to get out of the country.

Over the years, many common and military men have lost their lives to the ruthlessness of the Taliban. While certain lucky ones have escaped death but they too were left scarred either physically or mentally.

One such man who escaped death from the Taliban but was left amputated is canoe Curtis Mcgrath.

An Australian national, Curtis Mcgrath, was employed as a combat engineer with the Australian army and was centred in Afghanistan.

One fine day a blast from the Taliban meant that Mcgrath lost both his legs – right leg above the knee and left below the knee.

While such a tragic incident could have crushed anyone determination to live, Mcgrath was different.

In fact, his last words before being helped into an evacuation helicopter in the battlefield were, "You will see me at the Paralympics," according to IN Queensland.

And, boy, he kept his word.

Just four years later, he not only competed at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics but also returned with a gold medal in his bag.

At 33, Curtis Mcgrath is yet not done. He has a lot more to offer to Australia and the Paralympic movement.

He will be seen competing in men's KL2 and VL3 para-canoeing at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Also, did I mention the day before the Tokyo Paralympics would mark exact nine years since Curtis Mcgrath lost his legs to the Taliban blast?

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