Curtis McGrath and Jessica Fox to take on rapids at Penrith Whitewater Stadium

Paralympian Inspires Olympian

Dual Olympic medallist and Jessica Fox is inspired by Paralympic champion Curtis McGrath and determined to make him the first “para-athlete slalom paddler” 😉 !? 

Amongst them, they hold 15 individual World Championships titles, 1 Paralympic gold, 1 Olympic silver and 1 Olympic bronze.

They are the world’s most successful individual paddlers in their disciplines, now they will go racing together and take on Sydney’s Olympic whitewater course at Penrith Whitewater stadium.

Paralympic Champion and eight-time World Champion Curtis McGrath (QLD) will follow into Olympic medallist and seven-time World Champion Jessica Fox’ footsteps, or better “paddle strokes”, on Sunday, 10 February as the two Australian paddle stars take on the whitewater course at Penrith Whitewater stadium together.

The event marks the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Qualification season, 18 months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The event coincides with Curtis McGrath having his first hit-out of the 2019 Paralympic Qualification season at the Canoe Sprint Grand Prix II at Sydney International Regatta Centre over the weekend 8-10 February – see media release here: https://paddle.org.au/2019/02/05/2019-paralympic-and-olympic-canoe-sprint-road-to-tokyo-starts-in-sydney/).

A paralympic canoe sprint flat water paddler, who has been successfully competing on the Paralympic world stage after having both of his legs amputated as a result of a mine blast whilst serving in the Australian Army in Afghanistan in 2012, McGrath used to do some whitewater paddling growing up at school in New Zealand and reckons he will remember the skills. “I’m sure it’s just like paddling a bike, At least I hope so.” he said.

“It’s an idea that came up a few years back… Curt is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, knowing his story, his determination to get to the Paralympics, his dedication to his craft and his incredible performances to see him win world titles and Paralympic gold, I’ve admired him for many years,” Jessica Fox said about their plan to paddle together.

“I found out he had done some slalom back in the day before his accident in Afghanistan and wanted to get back on the rapids. It’s all about sharing disciplines, sharing time on the water, and helping him take on this challenge to get on the rapids. I think he would be the first para-slalom athlete and it’s obviously more fun than the straight-line stuff he does,” Jessica Fox laughed.

The event also marks the start of 2019 for the greatest individual slalom paddler of all time, Jessica Fox, who will kick-off the Olympic qualification season on home waters at the Sydney International Whitewater Festival next week and over the two weekends of 15-17 as well as 22-24 February 2019.

The Sydney International Whitewater Festival has attracted the World’s best canoe slalom, wildwater and freestyle paddlers, incl all Rio 2016 individual Olympic champion, the full Rio 2016 women’s K1 podium as well as all current 2018 World Champions. See media release here: https://paddle.org.au/2019/01/22/the-worlds-best-at-2019-sydney-international-whitewater-festival/

Tune into FOX SPORTS TONIGHT 5:45 p.m. for an Interview with Jess and Curtis.