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Multi-sport champion athlete who has overcome the odds.


Steve Gurney has won the gruelling New Zealand Coast-to Coast race a record nine times. This unequalled achievement from this passionate and lateral thinker, is even more remarkable when you consider this super-athlete very nearly died, doing what he loves and what he does best, competing in multi-sport events and knocking off world-record adventures.

With an Engineering Degree, Steve has an innovative approach to everything in life, perpetually curious about improving equipment, attitudes and systems.

In 1995, while in Borneo, competing in the Raid Gauloises epic teams race, Steve caught a near-fatal case of leptospirosis, an infectious bacterial disease caught from bats. His team came home first, but in the last leg of the race through the Mulu cave system, he got infected via a gash in his leg.

Expert emergency Intensive Care medics in Malaysia and New Zealand, saved Steve, but it was a close call, and they expected this to be the end of sport for him. Despite this, Steve resiliently fought back over the next 2 years to top level competition again with even greater success. For this surprising come-back, he studied and used resilience and motivation training techniques which he now shares with his clients and audiences.

Further adding to his expertise in resilience, Steve lived through the Christchurch Earthquakes, experiencing first-hand the physical trauma of his house and land being destroyed, but more importantly learning what worked and what didn’t work in rebuilding communities, businesses and lives.

Post-Covid, Steve is perfectly placed as a resilience expert to motivate your people to rise up and win again.

Endurance Athlete
Steve has successfully competed in numerous multi-sport races around the world. His life is an adventure. If there's not a mountain to traverse, a river to kayak, swamp to slither through, or bush to negotiate, then he's not altogether satisfied. While no longer a full-time athlete, he still participates in a mentoring role in selected events...even 'Dancing with the Stars'.

Current work
Steve is a full-time speaker and trainer, a member of PSANZ (Professional Speakers Association of NZ), has 3 published books:
Lucky Legs An autobiography and notes on Goal-getting
Eating Dirt Lessons on Resilience
The Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Sport
He’s been awarded the MNZM for services to endurance sport.

Steve speaks about the commitment and planning needed for success, and the mindset for resilience required to come back from rock bottom.

Steve's presentation exceeded our expectations. He was a very enthusiastic speaker and this was carried over into the audience. IIRNZ Inc

Steve was an excellent and passionate speaker.


Steve's presentation was very good. He related well with the audience and created a positive atmosphere of interest.

UDC Finance
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