Paralympics Australia is deeply mourning the loss of legendary eight-time Paralympian Kieran Modra.
The 47-year-old South Australian tragically lost his life on Wednesday (13 November) when his bike collided with a car north of Adelaide.
Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said the news has shattered the Australian Paralympic community.
“We are in shock and we are absolutely devastated,” Anderson said.
“Our deepest condolences are with Kieran’s wife Kerry and their three children as well as the many people within the Paralympic community, particularly the Para-cycling community, who will be rocked by this tragedy. We are hurting with you.
“Kieran is a giant of Australian Paralympic sport, not only because of his competitive success but also because of his wider contribution to the Paralympic movement across multiple sports over many years. He has left a legacy that will live on.
“As an athlete, he was the fiercest of competitors who was at his best when the odds were against him. Away from the competitive arena, Kieran was a kind soul and a great character with a huge heart who loved engaging with people and sharing his experiences.
“In retirement from elite competition, Kieran was always giving back, working as a mentor to the next generation of talent and it was our pleasure that he accepted to our invitation to participate in our Tokyo 2020 Team Processing sessions to share his experiences with athletes aiming for Paralympic success next year.”
Modra represented Australia in eight Paralympic Games in three different sports.
After competing in Para-athletics at his first Paralympic Games in 1988, he switched to Para-swimming for the 1992 Paralympics and broke through for his first Paralympic medals – two bronze.
But it was his career as a Para-cyclist that would elevate him to the pinnacle of Paraympic sport. He won five Paralympic gold medals and three bronze medals between 1996 and 2016, including victories in the tandem pursuit at three consecutive Games between 2004 and 2012.
“This is a truly distressing time for us. This is a loss that will be felt for a long time to come,” Anderson said.
By Paralympics Australia