Bundaberg-born Christian Lane-Krebs approaches challenges with determination, recently breaking world rowing records on his mission to qualify for the 2028 Olympics and World Para Rowing Championships.
In addition to being a full-time medical student, and living with disability, Christian competed in last month’s Queensland State Indoor Rowing Championships, held on the Sunshine Coast.
In this year's competition’s PR3 class events, Christian broke four of the six World Records he had set in last year’s competition and added one new Australian Record to his impressive tally.
Christian said the experience of being a World Record holder was difficult to put into words.
“It’s really such a surreal experience,” he said.
“It's just everything that I wanted to achieve, so it's just miraculous.”
The fast-paced competition sees rowers compete on ergometers in multiple races throughout the day, which Christian said is a different experience to a water rowing regatta.
“It's definitely a big day each year but it, it's really rewarding as well,” he said.
“It's so amazing to have that achievement behind me because I take a lot of pride and advocacy for people living with disabilities, especially within rural Australia.”
Christian was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and haemophilia at age two and is hearing-impaired.
He participated in different sporting, dance and extra-curricular activities throughout his school years and competed at national school competitions for athletics and swimming.
Christian said awareness of how his diagnosis could have restricted his mobility and life opportunities had encouraged him to try his hand at everything.
“My whole motto is always ‘have a crack’ because I was never supposed to walk, talk, or hear,” he said.
“It's been my one of my largest motivators.
“I hate running but I still did it because if I did it, maybe someone else did it, or maybe someone wasn't embarrassed to do it because I'm the guy with the limp, tumbling along, falling over the finish line at the end.
“If I can advocate for people and encourage others to have a go, and they might like it or they might look stupid, but just have a go because some people physically can't.
“Growing up with a disability has made me more cherish what I am able to do rather than what I'm not able to do, because if you focus on all the stuff you can't do, you're never going to get anywhere.”
Christian now has his sights set on national selection for the Olympics in 2028 and qualifying for a spot in the World Para Rowing Championships, while also undertaking his university studies to become a doctor.
As a student in the second cohort of CQU’s Regional Medical Pathway program, Christian is passionate about giving back to his hometown of Bundaberg, electing for a bonded program that will see him work in a rural community after graduation.
“I was born here, raised, educated here, and I want to give back to the community,” Christian said.
“My whole life, I sort of relied on other people around me to help support me through hard times.
“The people in Bundaberg and my teachers and the local politicians and the special education teachers and everything, they've just supported me the whole way.
“So now I'm in a position where I can use my platform to advocate for our community and the people that have supported me, and finally give back to those who have always been there for me.”
Christian's World Record breaking events:
PR3 – one minute, 17-18 – 317m
PR3 – 100m, 17-18 – 0:18.5
PR3 – 500m, 17-18 – 1:40.8
PR3 – 1000m, 17-18 – 3:46.6
PR3 – 2000m, 17-18 – 8:09.1