Modra overcame adversity

The family of five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra has paid tribute to his life after he died in a crash riding his bike last week north of Adelaide.

The 47-year-old from Hallett Cove, originally from Port Lincoln, was riding on the Sturt Highway near Gawler when the crash happened just after 7am last Wednesday.

His brother Mark Modra said growing up there was no special treatment for Kieran, who had a vision impairment.

"We didn't treat him any differently and he certainly didn't treat himself any differently," he said.

"He was very aware of his environment...if you knew Kieran you knew of his ability to compensate.

"Kieran isn't a person you could tell 'you can't do this'.

"His personality and mindset was 'I don't have a disability and I'm going to give this a go'."

Mark said his brother, a celebrated Paralympic swimmer and tandem cyclist, also had other talents including tatting (lace crocheting) and filming and editing GoPro footage.

He said as an athlete, Kieran also overcame several challenges during competition and games.

"There was always some sort of dilemma," he said.

"He really overcame a lot of these challenges, it almost spurred him on more - the more difficult the challenge was, the greater he achieved."

Kieran began cycling competitively in 1995 and won his first Paralympic gold the following year.

He won two gold medals and a bronze in Athens in 2004, a gold and a bronze in Beijing in 2008, a gold in London in 2012, and a bronze in Rio in 2016.

He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2014 for significant service to sport as an athlete representing Australia at the Paralympic Games, and to people who are blind or have low vision.

Mark said he was very thankful for the outpouring of support.

"We are certainly still coming to terms with the loss of Kieran and what that means to us," he said.

"The support from the community, neighbors and farmers offering to help with harvest, we are very thankful and grateful for that support.

"For me personally...having a faith in God makes life easier and we know there is more to's been a tough couple of years with the loss of my older brother (Darren)."

Mark also acknowledged a ride that occurred at the weekend for Kieran, in which a cycling friend rode a tandem bike with an empty back seat to remember him.

More than 200 people joined the ride, which was also escorted by police.