Real-life survivor: The Australian Survivor stars lucky to be alive

These contestants managed to outwit, outplay and outlast death.

By Zara Zubeidi

Steven Bradbury

Steven won a surprise gold at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
He'll forever be known for his shock gold-medal win at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
But former speed skater Steven Bradbury, now 45 and a contestant on Australian Survivor, was lucky to be competing in the first place after a dramatic accident eight years earlier.
A collision while competing in Montreal in 1994 saw a sharp skate blade slice through his leg. Within a minute, he'd lost almost three-quarters of his blood. Steven calls it "one of the most defining moments of my life".
"I remember lying on the ice and knowing I was in a dire situation," the star tells TV WEEK. "I could feel my body going into shock and my eyes closing.
"But I was able to find this ridiculous strength inside me. I said to myself, 'If you lose consciousness, you're going to die'. I made a pact with myself there and then. I had unfinished business and wasn't ready to go."
Astonishingly, Steven was back on the ice in less than four weeks. Eight years later, he claimed Olympic gold.
Now, his amazing story is to be turned into a movie. The film was originally titled Last Man Standing, but has now been renamed Bradbury. Plenty of big names are being thrown around to play Steven, as well as his mum, dad and coach.
"Liam Hemsworth is the favourite at this point [to play him]," Steven reveals. "Sportsbet even has a market on it.
"They might have a shot at Russell Crowe to play my dad, and Cate Blanchett to play my mum – and [Malaysian actress] Michelle Yeoh as my coach."

Andrew Ettingshausen

Andrew ran into deep trouble while filming his fishing show.
Following his retirement from sport in 2000, NRL legend Andrew Ettingshausen was lucky enough to land another dream job as host of his own fishing and outdoors show, Escape With ET.
But one trip in 2015, which saw the star diving for sea cucumbers, soon turned into a nightmare.
"My regulator got tangled up in my stinger suit," Andrew, 53, tells TV WEEK. "I went to take a breath and it was all water. I was about 30 metres below the surface and was there for about two minutes before I decided I'd have to just gun it to the surface."
Andrew thought it was all over for him.
"I was saying sorry to my wife," he recalls.
Fortunately, the boat's skipper, Ben Leahy, found Andrew before it was too late, passing him his regulator so he could breathe.
But in a tragic turn of events, Ben died just two years later in another fishing trip gone wrong.
He was one of six crew members who lost their lives when the trawler Dianne overturned off the Queensland coast in October 2017.
Andrew says he will forever be thankful to Ben for saving his life.
"I wouldn't have made it," he says. "He was a hero to me."

Sarah Ayles

Surviving a tsunami changed Sarah's world.
Sarah Ayles' life was turned upside down after she was involved in the tragic 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
She was on holiday in Sri Lanka with her business partner, who tragically lost his life in the catastrophic event that claimed more than 200,000 people.
But the horrific experience gave Sarah a new perspective. Three years later, she decided to sell her multimillion-dollar cleaning business with the desire to live a "simple life" and start a family.
She was struggling to fall pregnant at the time, but as soon as she sold up, nature took its course.
"We were almost at the IVF stage, but once I sold my equity, I fell pregnant," Sarah, 45, tells TV WEEK. "I think it was the relief."
Sarah says the tsunami doesn't "define" her.
"Life goes on," she says. "It's part of me, but it doesn't define who I am."

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