Iranian Cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad Dies During Crash at Paralympics Race in Rio

by Rachel McRady 4:20 AM PDT, September 18, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

The Paralympics turned tragic on Saturday, when Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad passed away after suffering from cardiac arrest following an incident in a mountainous stretch of the course in Rio, BBC Sports reports.

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Golbarnezhad was rushed to a local hospital, but was unable to recover. He was 48.

"He had been cycling for 12 years and he was our best cyclist. He was married and has a wife and one son,” Masoud Ashrafi, the secretary general of Iran’s National Paralympics Committee, said in a statement to BBC. "He was the kind of man who was a family man. He loved his family."

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Golbarnezhad’s death marks the first Paralympics or summer Olympics fatality since the 1960 games. The circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated.

A moment of silence will be observed on Sunday at the games’ closing ceremonies.