Michele Lynch competes in Sao Paolo. (Photo: Igor Goulart/ANDE)
COLORADO SPRINGS – Following impressive performances at last year’s World Boccia Americas Regional Championships in Sāo Paulo, Michele Lynch (Westmont, Illinois) and Nick Taylor (Wichita, Kansas) will return to Brazil for this weekend’s Rio de Janeiro 2022 World Boccia Cup. Lynch and Taylor, along with international referee Louis Mitchell, will represent the United States at the 18-country competition.
“We are so excited to see what Nick and Michele can do in Rio,” Kathy Brinker, Team USA’s head coach, said. “They both fought hard for these spots in Sāo Paulo, and will be looking to build off of their solid showings at Americas.”
The Rio de Janeiro 2022 World Boccia Cup is a prestigious event involving athletes from all over the world showcasing their talents as they look to qualify for the Paralympic Games Paris 2024. Eighty-eight athletes from 18 countries will make the trip to compete this weekend in Rio. Competition runs from April 27-30 at the Carioca Arena 01, which served as the main arena for the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.
Lynch and Taylor, who earned their spots by name, will head to Rio de Janeiro hoping to advance to the elimination rounds of the tournament in order to boost their world rankings.
A four-time Paralympian in wheelchair tennis, Taylor has been on an upward trajectory ever since his switch to Boccia. He is currently ranked 32nd in the world in the men’s BC4 classification, and was able to advance out of a competitive field at Americas Regionals in December to make it to the knockout rounds.
Taylor will compete in a field of 16 as he looks to improve his world ranking.
“Nick knows what it will take to win in his division and is training to that end,” Brinker said. “The U.S. team and Nick believes that he can dramatically increase his world ranking through this competition.”
Another up-and-coming athlete in the sport, Lynch recorded her first international win in December in Sāo Paulo when she defeated Brazil’s Natali de Faria, the world’s third-ranked women’s BC2 athlete. Lynch currently holds a world ranking of 22nd.
Brinker said Lynch has relied upon an intensive training schedule to hone her technique leading up to the World Cup.
“Michele’s confidence has quadrupled in the last several months, and she is training with BC4 athletes,” Brinker said. “She is ready physically and mentally.”
For media requests and photo inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.