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Gold for USA! Bellevue Man Part of World's Top Wheelchair Basketball Team

The United States men's wheelchair basketball team won the gold medal at the Paralympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil on Saturday.

Bellevue resident Ian Lynch is on the team.

The U.S. beat Spain, 68-52 to win the gold medal. In the 2012 Paralympics, the U.S. took home the bronze and had not competed for the gold medal since 1988.

“A lot of it was Spain's defense. I thought they played us very well. We didn't do a good job of spacing the floor at first, so they didn't have to move as much. That made it difficult for us to get shots,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Ron Lykins, of Columbia, Mo. “At halftime, we really talked about spreading the floor, and we went with a different lineup. Once we spread the floor, we were able to move a little bit more, we had better ball movement, and that led to better shots."

Lynch, 32, has competed in the past two Paralympics in 2012 and 2016. He was also on the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the 2014 World Championships.
 
He was injured in a car accident when he was 8 years old and was introduced to wheelchair basketball by his therapist, wheelchair basketball player Susan Hagel. He is a native of Minnesota and plays at the Greater Cincinnati Adapted Sports Club.
 
-Staff report