According to the Canadian Press on Friday, Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Gary Longhi of Montreal, Quebec, passed away at the age of 56. Longhi won the gold medal in the mixed 5000 metre time trial in the cerebral palsy three classification at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.
Longhi posted a winning time of eight minutes, 24.14 seconds. He reached the podium by 5.62 seconds over Jong Kil Kim of South Korea, who had a fourth-place time of 8:29.76. Daniel Nicholson of the United States won the silver medal with a time of 8:25.34, and Shojiro Maeda of Japan won the bronze medal with a time of 8:29.31.
In addition to his gold medal in Atlanta, Longhi won a silver medal in the men’s 5000 metre time trial in the cerebral palsy three classification at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona, and a bronze medal in the mixed 20 kilometre road cycling competition at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta.
Langhi won one of three gold medals for Canada in cycling at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta. He was joined by Guylaine Larouche and Julie Cournoyer of Sherbrooke, Quebec, who won gold in the women’s 50/60 kilometre tandem open, and Alexandre Cloutier of St-Antoine-de-Tilly, Quebec, and Larouche, who won gold in the mixed 60/70 kilometre tandem open.
At the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Langhi was the flag-bearer for Canada at the opening ceremonies. In 2017, Langhi was the first paracyclist to be inducted into the Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame in Milton, Ontario.
It should be noted that Langhi competed in the cerebral palsy division in cycling even though he did not have cerebral palsy. He was eligible to compete in the cerebral palsy division because he became severely disabled and suffered a brain injury following a motorcycle crash in 1983.