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Curtis McGrath paddles towards Paris with one year to the Paralympics

28 August 2023

Today marks one year until the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games and paracanoe sprint legend Curtis McGrath OAM has been busy training at the AIS European Training Centre (ETC).

Curtis McGrath paddles on lake in ETC.

Over the weekend McGrath competed at the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Germany where the Aussie team finished at the top of the medal tally. McGrath took out his 11th world championship title as well as a bronze, securing important Paris quota spots for Australia.

Leading up to world championships, McGrath has been living and training at the ETC, which he has used frequently since 2014.

He said the ETC was playing a considerable role in preparations for Paris next year.

“It’s a great opportunity to get an environment with warm weather and to get into time zones, but to also get the fresh water because we train on salt water on the Gold Coast and that changes the way the boat moves.”

“The ETC a great place to come and train, you can sort of live and breathe sport.”

As the defending Paralympic Champion in the KL2 200m and VL3 200m events, McGrath is looking to add to his accolades in Paris.

“It is awesome to be able to go to multiple Games and I’m looking forward to representing Australia at the Paralympics again,” said McGrath.

The triple Paralympic gold medallist was looking forward to the atmosphere in Paris and the return of spectators who were absent in Tokyo due to COVID-19.

“The best thing I’m looking forward to is having our friends and family on the sideline. That was something noticeably different, and disappointing, about Tokyo, given the success that our team had, and the entire Paralympic Games was such an amazing event,” he said.

“I reckon the Parisian people are going to put on an awesome Games that everyone can participate in.”

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