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

Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, Big Stick light up red to signal COVID devastation

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

MacGregor hosting virtual town hall on green COVID economic recovery

“Making the right investment decisions now to ensure a visionary carbon-conscious recovery…”

Elder College going online with dozens of courses this fall

There are 16 courses in the September session

Thanksgiving Food Drive coming to your door in Cowichan

Next week will be your chance to help meet the food crisis

Cowichan Community Centre Elder College celebrates 20th anniversary

Volunteer instructors are the key to success.

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read