Australian Paralympic champion Kieran Modra dies in bike accident

Kieran Modra
Kieran Modra (left) won five gold medals as a Paralympic cyclist

Australia's five-time Paralympic champion Kieran Modra has died after his bike collided with a car.

The 47-year-old first represented his country at the Paralympics in athletics before winning two bronze medals as a swimmer and then five golds in cycling.

Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said Modra was a "giant" of the Paralympic community and the news had "shocked" the country.

"We are absolutely devastated but he has left a legacy," she said.

Modra, who was visually impaired, collided with a car that was travelling in the same direction near Adelaide.

"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," added Anderson. "We are hurting with you.

"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."

After competing in Para-athletics at his first Paralympic Games in 1988, he won his first medal after switching to Para-swimming in 1992, and won his most recent gold medal in 2012.

"We are very saddened to hear of the passing of long-time supporter and friend of the RSB, Kieran Modra, in a cycling accident on Wednesday morning," Australia's Royal Society for the Blind said in a Facebook post.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife Kerry and the Modra family at this difficult time."

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