AN Irish Paralympic cyclist has launched an online campaign to raise funds for a new prosthetic leg that would enable him to compete at Rio 2016.
Manchester-based Colin Lynch is appealing to generous donors, to gain investment into a new custom-made carbon cycling leg ahead of next year’s Paralympic Games in Brazil.
The 44-year-old – whose father hails from Drogheda, Co Louth – has represented Ireland since 2010, winning two World Championships, but narrowly missing out on a medal at London 2012.
He told The Irish Post that despite being born in Singapore and growing up in Canada, he feels strongly connected to his Irish roots.
“I think of myself as Irish no matter where I lived,” he said. “Through my Irish heritage, I’ve been able to represent the country for a long time. I’m very proud to be Irish.”
Lynch was required to have his leg amputated below the knee at the age of 16 after he suffered an injuring whilst playing rugby.
Following an untreatable infection and an associated spinal cord injury, he explains that after enduring six years of operations, he was told that he’d need to have his leg removed.
Almost 20 years later, in 2008, Lynch decided to take up competitive cycling after “a light bulb went off” whilst watching the Beijing Paralympics on television.
Now, he is aiming to compete in his second Paralympic Games, after coming fourth in London three years ago.
He lost out on a medal by a tenth of a second, and it’s the lack of funds to invest in a new prosthetic leg that he believes is preventing him from cycling to his full potential.
“The leg I currently use for training does not fit well and causes me a lot of pain, making training difficult,” he added.
“It’s important now to keep on top of my game and use every advantage. My body has changed and I need a new leg that adapts well to my body.”
If you would like to donate to Colin Lynch’s fundraising campaign click here.