Born without a lower spine, 31-year old Kurt Fearnley has always been on the move. As a child he raced his wheelchair around the school track and played in the local rugby league. And as a 28-year-old he crawled the Kokoda Trail—a treacherous track that snakes 60 miles through the mountains and rain forests of Papua New Guinea. His record as a competitive wheelchair racer is unmatched. Fearnley has won 31 of the 43 marathons he has entered, and has captured nine medals—three of them gold—at the past three Paralympics. In London he’ll compete in the 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 4 x 400m relay and marathon events. His biggest test will come in the marathon, where he’ll face Great Britain’s David Weir, who has won the London marathon on six occasions. Weir will have home crowd support, but Fearnley has momentum. He won the gold in the marathon event at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics.
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