Dame Sarah Storey: who is GB’s most successful Paralympian - and how many Paralympics gold medals has she won?
Sarah Storey claimed a third gold of Paralympics 2021 in the C4-5 road race, adding to her C5 time trial and C5 3000m individual pursuit victories in Tokyo
Dame Sarah Storey became Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian after taking a third gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Storey was already GB’s most successful female Paralympian heading into the Paralympics 2021 but the swimmer-turned-cyclist has now surpassed Mike Kenny’s overall record.
Tokyo is Storey’s eighth Paralympics and the 43-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down by smashing her own world record on the way to C5 3000m individual pursuit gold.
Storey claimed a second gold with a mesmerising victory in the women’s C5 time trial before making history in the C4-5 road race as the rain lashed down in Japan.
Here’s a look at Sarah Storey’s Paralympics background, how many gold medals she has won and life away from the saddle at home with husband Barney and children.
Who is Sarah Storey?
Greater Manchester born Storey is one of the most experienced and decorated athletes on the Paralympics GB team at Tokyo 2020.
She has a clutch of medals in cycling but actually started her Paralympic career in the pool as a swimmer in Barcelona way back in 1992.
After three Paralympics, Storey made the switch to cycling in 2005 due a persistent ear infection and competed in her new sport at Beijing 2008.
Since then she has competed at every Paralympic Games, including London 2012, and has been recognised for her achievements on and off the bike.
She received an MBE in 1998, an OBE in 2009 and following the 2012 Paralympics was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE).
Storey has previously been nominated for the 2008 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability and the 2012 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.
What is Sarah Storey’s disability?
Storey was born with a left hand which did not fully develop after it became entangled with the umbilical cord in the womb.
But the swimmer-turned-cyclist has competed against both disabled and able-bodied athletes at international sports championships over the last two decades
How many Paralympics medals has Sarah Storey won?
Following her success in the C4-5 road race at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Storey now has an astonishing 28 Paralympic medals overall.
Of those, she has now won an historic 17 golds in swimming and cycling.
She was already Britain’s most successful female Paralympian and has now surpassed the achievements of GB swimmer Mike Kenny, who held the record of most successful GB Paralympian with 16 gold medals.
Who is Sarah Storey’s husband?
Storey arrived in Tokyo without the support bubble of her husband and fellow track cyclist Barney, who she married in 2007.
The couple have an eight-year-old daughter Louisa – who travelled to Rio five years ago – and a three-year-old son Charlie.
They live in Disley, Cheshire.
What has Sarah Storey said since making history?
After claiming a record breaking 17th Paralympics gold medal, Storey was visibly emotional after victory in the C4-5 road race.
“I couldn’t have imagined having eight Games, let alone winning medals at every Games, and 17 of those medals being gold,” she said.
“It’s the dream I didn’t have coming true.
“I just wanted to be a British athlete, I wanted to compete for my country for as long as I possibly could, and to still be going strong in Games number eight is truly amazing.
“I never felt a weight on my shoulders. It is the sweetest feeling to know that I go back to my room and there’s a couple of gold medals in the safe to put this one with and that makes that tally very real then.”
What has husband Barney Storey said on Sarah’s achievements?
Dame Sarah Storey’s husband, former Paralympic cyclist Barney Storey, said their two children Louisa and Charlie were still asleep and had “no idea” what had happened overnight.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think I’m going to say much. I think I’m just going to put the TV on and show them what happened and then they can enjoy that moment.”
Barney said he has exchanged a few text messages with his wife, adding: “I think she struggled to put it into words.
“I think it was a race that didn’t kind of pan out as you would have expected, but ultimately the thing with amazing grand champions, they find different ways to win all the time and that’s exactly what she did today.”
Will Sarah Storey compete at Paris 2024?
Such is her dominance in the sport, attention has already turned to whether she will compete at the next Paralympics in Paris.
Mr Storey said his wife is “getting better and better” and said she would like the children to experience the Games, which might be the motivator for competing at Paris.