Two-time U.S. Paralympian Ian Lynch hurt his back at eight years old from injuries he sustained in a car accident. It was his therapist Susan Hagel, who was a former wheelchair basketball star, who introduced him to the sport. He began playing at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center. Once he entered high school he competed in track and field. He notes doing track made him more comfortable with the movements of the chair and it helped with his overall cardio. Lynch grew up in Minnesota before attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
At the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater he studied Elementary Education and he now works for Skool Aid. He helps the company develop and run after school programs and teaches wheelchair basketball for the program. He also partners with Dick’s Sporting Goods and has previously done web design but notes his one true love is being a part of a team and playing professionally.
In 2010, Lynch headed overseas to play three seasons for SSD Santa Lucia Sport in Rome. In 2012, Lynch earned a spot on his first U.S. Paralympic team where they won Bronze in London. To his credit, Lynch has a 2014 IWBF World Championships silver medal, and two ParaPan Am Games appearances in 2007 and 2011. He was injured in 2015 and unable to join the team for the ParaPan Am Games in Toronto.
In 2016, after recovering from injury, Lynch secured his spot for the 2016 Paralympic Games. His long term goal of winning a Paralympic gold medal came true after undefeated play of 8-0 in Rio.
“My focus for so long had been getting to Rio and then of course to win gold at Rio. I didn’t think much past that. I improved my skills, did the right things everyday and it all came together for us,” said Lynch.
Giving back to the sport has always been a part of his passion as well. With so much experience, work and success under his belt he wants to share that with young players. He is a volunteer coach for the Cincinnati Dragons and has also coached Top soccer. His drive for the sport never fails and that has pushed him to continue into his professional career with sights now on Tokyo 2020.