Iranian Cyclist Dies After Crashing at the Rio Paralympics

There will be a moment of silence for Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad during tomorrow's closing ceremonies.
September 17, 2016, 9:42pm
A shot of the Rio road course from the Olympics. Photo by Eric Seals—USA TODAY Sports

Bahman Golbarnezhad, 48, of Shiraz, Iran died of cardiac arrest today after crashing in a C4-5 road race during the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, according to the Associated Press.

Golbarnezhad received emergency treatment on the course before being transported to Unimed Rio Hospital, where he passed away soon after. IPC officials said in a statement that they have already launched an investigation into the cause of the accident, but confirmed that the crash took place during a particularly steep descent.

The Rio Olympics committee already came under fire for having such a dangerous course—the mountainous part of which was also used in the Paralympic course—that resulted in multiple crashes, including one that left Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten with three spinal fractures.

According to the statement, IPC President Sir Philip Craven said of Golbarnezhad's death:

"This is truly heart-breaking news and the thoughts and condolences of the whole Paralympic Movement are with Bahman's family, friends, and teammates as well as the whole of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Iran. The Paralympic Family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games here in Rio."

The IPC said that after Golbarnezhad's death, the Iranian flag was lowered to half mast in the Paralympic Village, and that there would be a moment of silence for him during tomorrow's closing ceremonies.