An Iranian cyclist died after crashing in a road race at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics on Saturday. Bahman Golbarnezhad, 48, received emergency treatment on the course and was transported to a Rio hospital where he died, reports the AP. "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 of Iran," International Paralympics Committee President Philip Craven said in a statement. "The Paralympic family is united in grief at this horrendous tragedy, which casts a shadow over what have been great Paralympic Games." The IPC said it believes this is the first death in a Paralympics.
The IPC said Golbarnezhad crashed about 10:40am local time on a mountainous stretch of the road cycling course; he suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital. The cause of the crash was not clear, and officials said it was being investigated. The Iranian flag was lowered to half-staff in the Paralympic Village, and at the venue where Iran faces Bosnia and Herzegovina in a men's sitting volleyball final on Sunday. A moment of silence will also be held at Sunday's closing ceremony in Maracana Stadium. A Paralympic biography said Golbarnezhad was born in Shiraz, Iran. He also competed in the London Paralympics but didn't medal. He was competing in the C4-5 races for athletes with lower limb impairments or amputations. On Wednesday, he finished 14th in a time trial. (Read more Paralympics stories.)