Two-time Paralympic champion Siamand Rahman of Iran passed away on Sunday (March 1) due to cardiac arrest in his hometown Oshnavieh.
Dubbed as the world’s strongest Paralympic, 31-year-old legend is remembered as role model to many powerlifters and other athletes in the Paralympic movement – an athlete who has always pushed limits, setting world records on the way and inspiring umpteen sportsmen and women in the process.
Athletes, coaches and associations have expressed shock at the sudden demise and extended condolences to Rahman’s family and friends.
Highlighting Rahman’s power and results during his career, Asian Paralympic Committee president, Majid Rashed, along an emotive video from Rio said, “Siamand’s achievements demonstrate what a superb athlete he was but away from the competition arena, he was a lovely gentleman who always had time for everyone. He has gone too soon and will be much missed by us all."
Sharing Rahman’s achievements through photos and videos, The Iran National Paralympic Committee’s social media announced: Goodbye to the world's most powerful man with disabilities, Siamand Rahman.
Rahman started his professional career in 2008 with a gold at the IWAS Junior World Games in the US followed by three more in 2010 – two world titles in Libya and Malaysia, and one Asian gold in Guangzhou, China.
At the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Para Games, he set another World record in the over 100kg category, lifting 287.5kg, and won gold medal. In 2011, Rahman finished as a gold medallist in Jordan’s International Open.
In the same year, he broke his own record once more, during IWAS World Games lifting 291kg in the United Arab Emirates.
During the London 2012, he broke the Paralympic record with a lift of 280kg.
In April 2014, Rahman registered a 285kg win at the World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates while he beat his own Asian record by 3.00kg registering 290kg during the Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea in the same year.
Lifting 295kg, he took another gold in the men’s over 107kg world record at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The world’s strongest Paralympian, who had lifted 296kg at a World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, February 2016, was widely expected to break the 300kg barrier after years improving his marks.
In Rio 2016, he made history by clearing the bar at 310kg in the men’s over 107kg, setting a new world record and claiming his second consecutive Paralympic gold.
At the 2018 Asian Para Games, Siamand came first at the Men's Over 107.00 kg with 295kg. In the same year, he comfortably won the men’s over 107kg at the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.
After winning gold medal in Mexico City 2017, he clinched the third Worlds title, in his last international appearance, in Nur-Sultan 2019.
With a slew of achievements to his credit, Rahman was also awarded the best male athlete award at the 2017 Paralympic Sport Awards held in Abu Dhabi, and was also shortlisted for the prestigious Laureaus Sportsperson of the Year with a disability award.
Rahman who was preparing to compete in his third Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, where he wanted to set a new world record in World Para Powerlifting, will always be remembered for his kind smile and enthusiasm - An epitome of hope, humanity, faith, love and peace.