Bahman Golbarnezhad died following a crash in the men’s C4-5 road race on Saturday. Story and photo courtesy of REUTERS
The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games were brought to a close inside a packed Maracana Stadium on Sunday evening.
Singers, dancers and fireworks lit up the iconic stadium before tributes were paid to Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died on Saturday.
Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee president, said the movement was “united in grief”.
Referring to the success of the Games, Craven said the Rio Paralympics were “uniquely Brazilian and wondrous”.
Britain finished the Games with 147 medals, 64 of which were gold. They were second behind China, who claimed 107 golds and 239 in total.
Craven thanked organisers, athletes and spectators after passing the Paralympic flag to the governor of Tokyo, which hosts the next Games in 2020.
Craven was also warmly applauded when bestowing the Paralympic Order – his organisation’s highest honour – on the Brazilian city.
Standing alongside him, Carlos Nuzman, the president of Rio’s organising committee, was cheered when he exclaimed: “Mission accomplished.
“The Brazil we love so much has shown the world what it can do.
“This celebration started with a dream. It was 20 years in the making. Many thought it was impossible. But not for Rio and Brazil.
“The impossible happened. Brazilians never give up.”