Brant Garvey qualifies for Rio Paralympics


Trigg resident Brant Garvey has qualified for the Rio Paralympics where he will compete in the para-triathlon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446707
Trigg resident Brant Garvey has qualified for the Rio Paralympics where he will compete in the para-triathlon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446707

TRIGG tri-athlete Brant Garvey has not yet had the chance to celebrate qualifying for the Rio Paralympics.

The 31-year old will compete in the Para-triathlon and said he had ramped up his rigorous training regime in the countdown to Rio in September.

“Because I’m so focused on Rio it was kind of like tick the box, alright I’ve got to keep moving, keep training,” he said.

“After getting Australia a spot it’s all in, it’s everything, there is nothing else.

“It’ll probably only be after Rio that I’ll finally be able to sit back and reflect on it all.”

Garvey, who was born without his right leg, runs with a specially engineered carbon leg, with separate prosthetics for swimming, cycling and running.

The WA Institute of Sport (WAIS) para-triathlete, who took second place at the Penrith ITU World Paratriathlon Event last month, was the first Australian above knee amputee to compete in an Ironman Triathlon, setting a world-record time in 2013.

In the lead up to Rio, Garvey said he starts a 26-hour training week with an 80km ride, an open water swim, gym training and an interval running session.

“Normally up at about 4am-4.30am and then get to bed about 11pm,” he said.

His lifelong dream of qualifying for the Paralympics has not been an easy ride.

“I’ve always as a little kid wanted to be able to represent my country in the Paralympics and now I’m finally doing it at the age of 31,” he said.

“I really had no idea what the process was like when I started and then finding out they had made it much, much more elite than I was expecting.”

Garvey said he would spend a month in Florida training before the games to acclimatise to the hot and humid Rio conditions.

“The main thing for me is because I wear a prosthetic leg, really being able to manage the sweat between the silicon liner that holds the leg on so it doesn’t slip off,” he said.

“It’s a massive risk and something we are trying to work out. It happened in the world championships in Chicago, my cycling leg fell off as I jumped on the bike and I kind of caught it mid air and just had to hold it on for the entire race.”

Garvey said the biggest challenge by far had been securing sponsorship and organising crowd funding to fund the cost of his prosthetic legs, which cost up to $20,000 each.

“The finance side of things has just been the most horrendous ordeal ever, I’ve faced massive amounts of rejection in terms of sponsorship,” he said.

“We raised just over $20,000 and then HBF came on board (as a sponsor) afterwards and bridged the gap between what we raised and what I needed to get to Rio.

“The support from everyday people has been amazing, there were so many people that have got on board and given up their coffee money.

“One girl set up a lemonade stand and raised $117.10. I’ve got the biggest support network and everybody is helping any way they can, it’s been phenomenal.”