Swimming Australia sends its deepest sympathies to the family of Paralympian Kieran Modra, Dolphin No. P120, who tragically lost his life on Wednesday when his bike collided with a car north of Adelaide.
An all-round sport star, the 47-year-old South Australian competed in eight Paralympic Games across three sports including athletics, swimming and cycling. When competing in swimming at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Modra took home his first medals – two bronze in the 100m and 200m backstroke.
But it was his career as a Para-cyclist that would elevate him to the pinnacle of Paraympic sport. He won five Paralympic gold medals and three bronze medals between 1996 and 2016, including victories in the tandem pursuit at three consecutive Games between 2004 and 2012.
Swimming Australia CEO Leigh Russell said the thoughts of the swimming community were with Modra’s family and friends.
“On behalf of Swimming Australia, we send our deepest condolences to Kieran’s family, friends and loved ones at this devastating time,” Russell said.
“Kieran represented our country with pride, and he made a huge contribution to Paralympic sport in this country, including swimming.”
Paralympics Australia also Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said the news has shattered the Australian Paralympic community.
“We are in shock and we are absolutely devastated,” Anderson said.
“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. We are hurting with you.
“Kieran is a giant of Australian Paralympic sport, not only because of his competitive success but also because of his wider contribution to the Paralympic movement across multiple sports over many years. He has left a legacy that will live on.
“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.
“In retirement from elite competition, Kieran was always giving back, working as a mentor to the next generation of talent and it was our pleasure that he accepted to our invitation to participate in our Tokyo 2020 Team Processing sessions to share his experiences with athletes aiming for Paralympic success next year.”