Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad died after crashing in a Rio Paralympic road race Saturday, according to the Iran Paralympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Golbarnezhad, 48, crashed in the C4-5 road race at about 9:40 a.m. ET on a mountainous stretch of the course. He was descending a steep hill and is believed to be the first athlete to die at a Paralympics, according to The Associated Press.
He received emergency treatment at the scene and suffered cardiac arrest en route to Unimed Rio Hospital, where he died soon after arrival.
An investigation has been launched regarding the circumstances of his crash, according to the IPC.
Golbarnezhad’s family, which is in Iran, and the Iran delegation in Rio were informed of his death.
“This is truly heartbreaking 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,” IPC 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 here in Rio.”
The Iran flag was lowered to half-mast in the Paralympic Village and will fly at half-mast at the Iran-Bosnia and Herzegovina sitting volleyball gold-medal match Sunday.
A moment of silence will be held during the Closing Ceremony.Follow @nzaccardi