On Friday, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven visited Bahman Golbarnezhad's grave in Shiraz, Iran, to pay tribute to the late para-cyclist.
Golbarnezhad became the first Paralympic athlete to die in competition following a horrific crash in the men’s C4/C5 road race in Rio last year.
Craven was accompanied by Masoud Ashrafi, General Secretary of Iran’s National Paralympic Committee, Iran’s most decorated Paralympian Mokhtar Nourafshan and Golbarnezhad’s family in the visit.
Nourafshan, former track and field athlete, has won four gold medals, two silvers and one bronze in four Paralympic Games.
“We’ve come here to Shiraz to pay tribute to late Golbarnezhad and express our sincere sympathy to his beloved family. I’ve traveled several times to Iran and I love the Iranian people so much,” IPC President said.
“We’ve awarded a prestigious honor to Golbarnezhad’s family which is more valuable than Paralympic medal. I’ve awarded the honor to 12 persons in my 16-year career,” Craven said.
Golbarnezhad’s wife, Neda Farasati, who is a member of Iran’s women wheelchair basketball, thanked Philip Craven for coming to Shiraz to visit Bahman’s grave.
On Wednesday, Craven met with Iranian Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Masoud Soltanifar.
The meeting, which took place at the ministry headquarters in Tehran, was organized by Iran’s National Paralympic Committee.
In his five-day visit to Iran, the IPC president will visit new sports complex for Paralympic athletes in Isfahan as well.