Paralympian Curtis McGrath speaks about losing both legs in Afghanistan

Curtis McGrath was 24 years-old when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

As a combat engineer, he was tasked with searching the road for landmines and explosive devices.

Halfway through his deployment, tragedy struck.

“I was on patrol halfway through my six month deployment when I stepped on top of an improvised explosive device,” McGrath told Weekend Afternoons with Clinton Maynard & Craig Willis.

“It exploded beneath me, taking both my legs and injuring my left hand.”

Remaining conscious the whole time, McGrath had the “odd task” of still having to do his job.

“I was also the combat first aider and had to talk through the first aid processes to keep me alive.”

“I felt everything I saw everything, I remember everything.”

McGrath says he knew there was always an option for him in sport.

“I knew my legs were gone immediately.

“I made a comment when carried on the stretcher saying you’ll see me in the Paralympics.”

Four years after his accident, McGrath won gold in the Paracanoe event at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Fast forward to this year, McGrath has just won his seventh championship gold at the Paracanoe World Championship in Portugal and is an ambassador for the 2018 Invictus Games.

Next is the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

“The Olympic cycle comes very quickly.”