Female British Gold Medalists – Sarah Storey

Labour Party

After my e-book before the summer with profiles of British female athletes competing in London, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate those women who achieved gold medals.  Of course it wasn’t just about medals this summer; all of our athletes were outstanding, and London as a whole, especially those working on the games, deserves a huge amount of credit for what was achieved.  Nevertheless I thought I would start with a profile of paralympic cyclist, Sarah Storey.

Sarah Storey joined the ranks of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympians in London this summer, winning her fourth cycling gold medal of the London Games in the women’s road race in an utterly imperious ride that saw her finish more than seven minutes ahead of her closest rival.

So dominant was the 34-year-old from Cheshire in the 64km race that by the second lap of the Brands Hatch course, having left the women’s field far behind her, she caught and passed the peloton of the men’s road race, which had started two minutes earlier.

Her victory, the 11th gold of a career spanning six Paralympic Games, equals the modern-era records of wheelchair racer Tanni Grey-Thompson and swimmer Dave Roberts. But the cyclist’s tally is all the more remarkable given that she began her Paralympics career, as a 14-year-old at the Barcelona Games, as a swimmer, winning two golds and three silvers in her debut appearance in 1992. London is her second Games competing as a cyclist – she won double gold in Beijing in her track and time trial debut.

Speaking immediately after the race, Storey said she was “just so chuffed” to have matched in the road racing the two golds she won in the velodrome, after taking time trial gold with an almost equally comfortable.

Asked about equalling the records of Roberts and Grey-Thompson, Storey said: “To be even on the same page … as Tanni, but to have won 11 and made today a clean sweep for this week is just a dream come true. I can’t thank enough people. I’m so proud to be part of such an amazing team and I’m just so pleased to be finished now as well.”

Britain’s Paralympic Greats – Sarah Storey

Labour Party

Sarah Joanne Storey, née Bailey has an impressive array of medals to her name in an impressive array of sports.

Sarah (then known as Sarah Bailey) began her paralympic career as a swimmer, winning two golds, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona in 1992 at 14. She continued swimming in the next three Paralympic Games before switching to cycling in 2005.

At the 2008 Paralympic Games, her fifth, Storey won the individual pursuit – in a time that would have been in the top eight at the Olympic final – and the road time trial.

She also competes against able-bodied athletes and won the 3 km national track pursuit championship in 2008, eight days after taking the Paralympic title, and defended her title in 2009.

She qualified to join the England team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she was “the first disabled cyclist to compete for England at the Commonwealth Games”, against fully able-bodied cyclists.  She was also the second paralympic athlete overall competing for England at the Games, following archer Danielle Brown earlier in Delhi.

Due to her impressive achievements in disabled sport, Sarah was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1998 New Year Honours.  And following her success at the Beijing games was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire.