Canadian flag bearer Gary Longhi reacts as he carries his country’s flag during the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Sydney Wednesday October 18, 2000. Gary Longhi, a four-time Paralympian and Canada’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, has died at the age of 56. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rob Griffith

Gary Longhi, Canada’s flag-bearer at 2000 Paralympics, dies at age 56

The Canadian Paralympic Committee announced Gary Longhi’s death Friday

Gary Longhi, a four-time Paralympian and Canada’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, has died at the age of 56.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee announced Longhi’s death Friday.

The road cyclist competed in the 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games, winning gold and bronze in ‘96 in Atlanta and silver in ‘92 in Barcelona.

The Montreal native was the first Paralympic athlete to be inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2017.

Ahead of his induction Longhi said that he cherished the camaraderie of cycling for the Canadian team.

“Sometimes in society I feel like an outsider,” he said. “On the bike I’m normal. Everything is smooth, not as harsh as usual. It’s freedom for me.”

Longhi took up elite-level cycling as part of his rehabilitation following a 1983 motorcycle crash that nearly claimed his life and left him in a coma for three months. His brain injury qualified him for Para cerebral palsy category of competition.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

Library has solely offered curbside service since onset of pandemic

Wildlife camera project explores effects of forest management practices on wildlife

Findings show no detections of cougars in sites that have been clear cut

City of Kimberley looking for feedback on active transportation

What do you like about the existing trail network for walking and cycling? What needs improvement?

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

Rachel Holt says province is saving areas that don’t need protection, ignoring those that do

Kootenay yearling released into northern wild

Photos: Scroll to the bottom of the story to see Kenzo’s release

Most Read