Curt Brinkman was a wheelchair athlete and motivational speaker, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church. Brinkman won the Boston Marathon in 1980, setting a world and course record of 1:55:00 (finishing seventeen minutes faster than the first runner and faster than any other person had ever run a marathon, completing it in one hour fifty-five minutes). He was also a five-time Paralympic gold medalist who had 20 first-place marathon finishes. Brinkman died on September 7, 2010, in Pleasant Grove, Utah, at the age of 56, after suffering complications of diabetes and heart trouble.
Brinkman was born and raised in Shelley, Idaho, and stood at 6'7" by the age of 16, an aspiring basketball player. As a teenager, he climbed a power pole during a day of farm work, making contact with the high-voltage wire and falling from the pole. The electric shock stopped his heart, and the fall started it again. The accident cost him both of his legs. During the ensuing years, he underwent sixty surgeries. 
Brinkman had suffered not only long-term results from the original accident, but also the wear and tear of his athletic achievements. Driving his wheelchair long distances by using his arms, his hands and shoulders suffered stress injuries. He won his last race, the St. George Marathon, in 2007 at age 54.
Brinkman's achievements were not only athletic. He held an associate's degree in business, bachelor's degrees in psychology and education, and a master's degree in education. He was the CEO of Brinkman Communications, and the author of The Will to Win and Curt Brinkman:Still Winning/Life's Lessons. He was a member of the Utah State Rehabilitation Council. He was listed in the National Distinguished Service Registry for Vocational and Medical Rehabilitation. He was a member of the National Speakers Association, and a member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.