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

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

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

JJ Belanger is running for mayor in Tofino’s March 6 byelection. (Photo courtesy of JJ Belanger)
Belanger enters Tofino’s mayoralty race

Belanger is former chair of Tourism Tofino and current general manager of Crystal Cove Beach Resort.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

The province is ensuring those eligible to receive the vaccine get the second shot within 42 days

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo submitted)
Island golf course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year at Mount Brenton

Most Read