Inspiring and supporting young people seriously injured through sport

Colin Lynch


My name is Colin Lynch, and I’m a Paracyclist with the Irish Elite Paracycling team.  When I was 16 years old I broke my leg playing rugby and at the same time discovered I had a spinal cord tumor. There were complications with my broken leg; multiple infections and six years of surgeries to try and fix the problem before I was finally told they would have to amputate my leg below the knee or risk ending up in a wheelchair for life. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. 

The surgery went well and it wasn’t long before I was able to return to activities and sports I hadn’t been able to do for years. My involvement with Paracycling began In 2008 when I was watching the Paralympic Games on TV and saw Elite Paracycling for the first time. I knew straight away it’s what I wanted to do and got to training shortly afterwards. 

As a member of the Irish team I was able to rise to the level of World Champion twice – first in the road Time Trial in 2011 and then in the Individual Pursuit on the track in 2012. I also participated in the London 2012 Paralympic Games, falling short of winning a medal by a mere 1/10th  a second. It’s a loss that has driven me on for the last 4 years as I strive to compete and win a medal in the Rio 2016 Games.

Unfortunately, the business of winning medals is an expensive one, especially at the sharp end of the sport. You need to have the best training and equipment you can get to make sure you don’t give away any advantages to your competitors! It is this need for better equipment (specifically new race bikes for the Games) that brought me to the Foundation.  I had heard of the help Matt and the Foundation offer from a fellow cyclist, and given my background in rugby, it seemed a good fit.

The Foundation, through their support, will give me the chance to achieve my ambition of a winning a Paralympic medal – and in doing so I hope I can help show up-and-coming athletes in the UK what you can achieve when you put your fears aside and focus on being the best you can be.

Even after the Games, I want to stay involved in disability sport – either as a coach or mentor and I hope to be able to work with disabled athletes and help them achieve their dreams and goals in the future.


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