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Report: Paralympian great Gerein dies

REGINA, Saskatchewan, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Seven-time Paralympian Clayton Gerein has died from a brain tumor, the Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada) Leader-Post said.

He was 45.

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Gerein was to be a part of the Jan. 9 torch relay in Vancouver, but the newspaper said he died Friday at Regina's Pasqua Hospital.

"I do know that the torch relay meant a lot to him, from our conversations," Fort Qu'Appelle torch relay committee chairman Jerry Whiting said, unaware of Gerein's condition. "This helps you appreciate the fellow that much more."

Gerein suffered a broken neck in 1982 while training racehorses, but was a swimmer when he competed at the 1984 Paralympics.

Later, the sport's male athlete-of-the-year in 1987, 1996 and 2001 won seven gold, four silver and three bronze medals while in a wheelchair.

He also volunteered with the Canadian Paraplegic Association and encouraged people with disabilities to pursue their goals.

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