Dame Sarah Storey born without a functioning left hand but competes on the UCI circuit against the best cyclists in the world, hopes that aiming for personal best times at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games can help make her Great Britain’s most successful ever Paralympic athlete.
Storey had won 11 Paralympic gold medals when she gave birth to her daughter Louisa Marie in 2013. The following year she won four para-cycling world titles before she became Britain’s most successful female Paralympian by adding another three golds to her collection in Rio.
She has since given birth to son Charlie and has not called time on her career yet.
The 14-time Paralympic gold medallist, says she is humbled to be seen as a sporting hero, storey began her Paralympic journey in Barcelona in 1992 as a 14-year-old swimmer, that being the sport that she says ‘first chose her’ at international level.
“When you switch sports, you don’t have any expectations,” says Storey. “But to come into cycling – and to have the record I have now of being unbeaten in certain events over the past 13 years – is something that I kind of pinch myself about, because I do feel like I’m in a bonus career. I’m actually better at cycling than I was at swimming.
“There are nine Paralympic golds in cycling, and each one of them has a story like the swimming ones do. Winning in front of a home crowd in London was incredible, but also winning with my three-year-old daughter in the stands in Rio… I was over the moon.”
Less than two weeks ago, storey got a rainbow Jersey and celebrated posting pictures with her kids, she said “I’m in a really positive frame of mind looking ahead to Tokyo – there’s a lot more depth in the C5 category so I’m obviously delighted to still be at the top of that field, but there are more and more riders coming in, which makes the fight for places really hard.
I’m excited to keep pushing forward though – there will be no complacency from me; I’m going to keep working hard.”
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