May 5 - Ireland's Para-cycling world champion Colin Lynch has underlined his determination for the gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games with a dazzling new gold prosthetic leg that he hopes will propel him to victory at the Velodrome.
The 41-year-old, who was born in Macclesfield, marked himself out as favourite for Paralympic glory last October when he won the C3 time trial at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark.
He backed up the win by taking victory at the 2012 UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles earlier this year in the C2 3 kilometre pursuit where he beat world record holder Gui Hua Liang of China in the final.
Lynch has continued the superb form this week by winning the Rudy Project National Time Trial Series in Cumbria but it was his new gold prosthetic leg that attracted the most attention.
"I did get ribbed about it at first," he admitted.
"But the gold reminds me of what I am hoping to win at the Games in September."
The golden prosthesis was provided by PACE Rehabilitation, who provides a coordinated multi-disciplinary service to individuals who have sustained limb loss and serious limb injury.
Lynch broke his foot playing rugby when he was 16 but due to spinal cord damage, the leg never healed properly and was constantly getting infected.
After several years of operations, the doctors finally had to amputate the leg below the knee when he was 22.
But Lynch has now become one of the world's top Para-cyclist and he admits he owes a big debt to PACE Rehabilitation.
"I really appreciate the support that the team at PACE have given me," he said.
"The prosthesis they've provided is incredible and the gold chrome finish makes it even more eye catching."
Scott Richardson, PACE Rehabilitation's business development manager, admitted that the organisation was delighted to be working with the Irish star.
"Since we started supporting Colin in 2010, he has developed his own Midas touch," said Richardson.
"Earlier this year in Los Angeles, he won his second world champion title in six months.
"So, in recognition of this and the forthcoming Paralympics, we've introduced some bling to Colin's device."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
February 2012: British and Irish riders race to gold despite classification rows