Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Para-cyclist from Iran dies following Rio road race crash

Tributes flood in for Iranian athlete Bahman Golbarnezhad who suffered a cardiac arrest after crashing in the C4-5 road race

Iranian para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad has died after suffering a cardiac arrest following a crash in last night's C4-5 road race.

The 48-year old cyclist is reported to have crashed heavily during a downhill section of yesterday's road race and was being transported to the Athlete Hospital when he suffered cardiac arrest and was diverted to Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra where he died shortly after arriving.

Golbarnezhad had been cycling for 12 years, was Iran's national champion, and the country's sole cycling representative at these game. He leaves behind a wife and son.

The Iranian Paralympic committee has asked for their champion's body to be flown back to Iran and for a full investigation into the incident to be carried out by the International Paralympic Comittee (IPC). The Iranians also issued a statement that read: “He was an exemplary Paralympic sportsman who, with love and energy, tried his best to promote the name of Iran and to make all of us proud.

“At the end he gave his life for this. The name of Bahman Golbarnezhad will be inscribed in the proud history of Iranian Paralympics."

The Iranian committee's secretary general Masoud Ashrafi also made a statement: "[Golbarnezhad] had been cycling for 12 years and he was our best cyclist. He was married and has a wife and one son.

"He was the kind of man who was a family man. He loved his family."

International Paralympic Comittee president Philip Craven issued the following statement shortly after news of Golbarnezhad's death emerged:

"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."

Tributes for the rider - who is the first ever Paralympic athlete to die in competition - have flooded in. High profile names in both the Para-cycling community and the wider cycling world offering their sympathies to those close to Golbarnezhad.

As you can see above, Dame Sarah Storey tweeted her condolences last night, while UCI president Brian Cookson issued the statement below with regards to the tragedy:

“I am devastated to hear about the death of Iranian rider Bahman Golbarnezhad. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and the NPC of Iran to whom we offer our most sincere condolences.”

The Iranian flag has been lowered to half mast in the Athlete's Village, and there will be a minute's silence at the closing ceremony in honour of Golbarnezhad.



Add new comment


Mungecrundle | 7 years ago
1 like

These are not 'inspirational' disabled people, wrapped in cotton wool and wheeled out to be applauded on some sort of sports day. These are full on 'inspirational' athletes with maybe more dramatic back stories. They train hard, compete hard, and crash as hard as anyone.

So sad to hear of the death of Bahman Golbarnezhad.

tritecommentbot | 7 years ago

Christ that's sad. Family must be a mess, going from massive pride to utter devastation in a day. Hard thing for the mind to come to terms with..


Re: Simon's comment is a very accessible little site. Have actually learned quite a bit from reading members' comments and asking stuff on forums, but it's easy to outgrow. I know that certain types of content are easy to put out and attract views/clicks/ad revenue, but it would be nice to see the site modernised, with more real dedicated cycling coverage - (Vuelta happened by the way guys). BC's paralympic cycling was genuinely immense this year  too and would have been worth a dedicated section. Sections on the site in general need to be brought up to web 2.0 +


Also notice the site doesn't attract a lot of new blood compared to sites like CyclingTips which has a higher production feel. That level of design is actually really inexpensive now. Can be done off the shelf actually for pittance (Yootheme, Gavick etc).

I think if the site upped its game then had contributor subscriptions people would do it. But the site has to be worth something to them to get that cash. How about a little activism. You do the rabble rousing well, but to no end.

Food for thought, or not.

Leviathan | 7 years ago
1 like

No word yet on the cause, but I have to remember Boardman's dire predictions regarding the gullies at the sides of the roads. This is very sorry news.

Simon, you are being disingenuous, this is very worthy of reporting and there have been  reports about Paralympics successes. What with Wada and other stories they have been pushed of the front page by other news, don't pretend they have not been covered.

Simon E replied to Leviathan | 7 years ago
1 like
Leviathan wrote:

Simon, you are being disingenuous, this is very worthy of reporting and there have been  reports about Paralympics successes. What with Wada and other stories they have been pushed of the front page by other news, don't pretend they have not been covered.

Yet again wilfully misinterpreting my comment. Read it properly.

Of course this is worth reporting, it's tragic and naturally newsworthy. However, I was highlighting the absence of any other reports from the Paralympics on (you could start with These athletes make sacrifices and train just as hard as the Olympic squads yet get barely any recognition.

Simon E | 7 years ago

It's disappointing that virtually the only item picks up from the Rio Paralympics is this sad news.

You have barely bothered to write about the competitions and the truly remarkable athletes, who are admirated by at least as many people as those at last month's Olympics.

No, you're much keener to show us more drivel like Youtube videos of driver aggression in the USA or Australia's anti-cyclist legislation.

Latest Comments