RIO (Tasnim) – Tributes were paid to Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died on Saturday, at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games closing ceremony.
The prestigious event was brought to a close inside a packed Maracana Stadium on Sunday evening.
Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president, said the movement was “united in grief”.
“Tonight is a celebration of the last 12 days of sport but it’s also a very sombre occasion following Saturday’s extremely tragic events,” Craven said, upon opening his speech.
“The passing of Bahman Golbarnezhad has affected us all and left the whole Paralympic movement united in grief.”
Craven had earlier passed the Paralympic flag between the mayor of Rio and governor of Tokyo, the Japanese capital city where the next Games will be held in 2020.
Cyclist Golbarnezhad’s death is the first in competition at a summer Olympics or Paralympics since Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen in the 100km team time trial at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
As well as the closing ceremony tribute, flags were lowered to half-mast as Iran won gold on Sunday afternoon in the sitting volleyball gold-medal match against Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the final events of the Games.
Flags have also been lowered around the Paralympic village.
An investigation into the crash has begun, the IPC said.
By Tasnim News Agency