Cyclists’ tribute to Modra at Paralympics

Roger Vaughan
(Australian Associated Press)

 

Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra has been remembered by the Australian cycling team at their own opening ceremony outside Tokyo.

Modra, who competed at eight Paralympics in athletics, swimming and cycling, was killed north of Adelaide in November 2019 when a car collided with him on a training ride.

The visually impaired star was 47. Modra and his wife Kerry, who once piloted him in Paralympic tandem events, had three daughters.

The cycling team is staying next to Izu Velodrome near Tokyo and Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson joined them on Tuesday afternoon for their ceremony.

Each cycling team member will have an iron-on patch honouring Modra that will be worn inside their jackets and another small patch for the brim of their Akubra hats.

The patches read Kieran Modra 1972-2019 “Go for it”.

Veteran Paralympic and Olympic mechanic Michael Winter, a long-time friend of Modra’s, was presented with one of the patches at the ceremony on behalf of the team.

“It’s a really nice thought (Australian chef de mission) Kate McLoughlin approached me,” cycling head coach Warren McDonald told AAP.

“It (the patch) is a little memorial, when he was born and when he passed away.

“He had a bit of a mantra – ‘go for it’. He’s a legend.

“Quite a few people in this team knew him and a lot of the staff were affected by his passing.

“It’s such a great honour.”

Modra competed at the 1992 Paralympics in athletics and swimming, winning two bronze medals in the pool.

He then switched to cycling, where he won five gold and three bronze over seven Games.

Modra also won two silver medals in cycling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The only Paralympics where Modra did not win a medal was Sydney.

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