Bahman Golbarnezhad has become the first Paralympian to die in competition. He died during the C4-5 cycling road race when he fell and collided with a rock, suffering a head injury and a subsequent fatal cardiac arrest.
He was known as a caring and positive sportsman who espoused the very spirit of the Paralympics. He had taken up cycling in 2002 after losing his leg in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and had competed in the London 2012 Paralympics. He was the only Iranian participating in the cycling competition.
This is heart-breaking news not only for those who knew him, but the entire Paralympic and Olympic movements. A minute of silence will be held during Sunday night’s closing ceremony.
Here is the last interview he gave with a fan on the eve of the race. You can see his smiling demeanour and how he will put “all his heart and energy” into the tragic race.
Although this was a tragedy, his spirit will live on forever.
Rest in peace, Bahman Golbarnezhad. In your short life you have been an inspiration for many people.