Huang Wenpan, China’s most decorated athlete from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with five gold medals, died on the way to the hospital after a horrifying car crash in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
The tragic accident occurred at 4 p.m. on March 4 when the car he was driving suddenly swerved off the road drove into a lamppost, according to local police.
The 22-year-old athlete was thrown out of his car as the vehicle rolled over on the sidewalk, according to Shanghaiist. No injuries have been reported after the accident.
Paramedics arrived at the scene and tried to bring Huang to a nearby hospital. But he was pronounced dead before they reached their destination.
Huang took up swimming in 2010 despite being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He set a new world record by taking home five gold medals at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the 200-meter freestyle S3, 50-meter breaststroke SB2, 150-meter individual medley SM3, 50-meter freestyle S3, and the mixed 4×50-meter freestyle.
However, his close opponent, Ukraine’s Dmytro Vynohradets, prevented him from acquiring every gold medal in the tournament. He won a silver medal in the 50-meter backstroke.
“I’m mobility-impaired on land but able to move easily in the water, so swimming gives me new life,” Huang once told Xinhua.
Featured Image (left) via Btime, (right) Shanghaiist