Source: Wales Online
Date: September 1, 2021
Author: Tom Blackburn
Who is Sarah Storey? The Paralympian who has made history with
Dame Sarah Storey is the most successful female Paralympian ever - but
who is she and why did she change sports?
Whatever else happens in the 2020 Paralympic Games, cyclist Dame Sarah
Storey has already secured herself a place in the history books. In the
C5 time trial, Storey stormed home to another gold medal - her second in
Tokyo and her 16th in total, bringing her level with swimmer Mike Kenny
as Britain's joint most successful Paralympian of all time. She will
attempt to break Kenny's record by going for gold in the women's C4-5
road race final on Wednesday (September 2nd). But for those who aren't
already familiar with her, here's more about Dame Sarah Storey and her
journey to Paralympic glory.
Who is Sarah Storey?
Dame Sarah Storey is a Paralympian athlete who has competed in swimming
as well as cycling. Now aged 43, she made her Paralympic debut at the
age of just 14, at the Barcelona games in 1992. Born in Eccles, near
Manchester, she is a 29-time world champion across both swimming and
cycling - six times in swimming, 23 times in cycling. She is also an
18-time European champion, with 18 titles in swimming and six in
cycling. In 2005, she switched to cycling, citing a persistent ear
infection triggered by chronic fatigue syndrome.
Dame Sarah also holds the para world record in the women's 3,000m
individual pursuit, having broken her own previous record at the Tokyo
Games. She was made a Dame in the 2013 New Year Honours - soon after
winning four golds at the 2012 London Paralympics - having previously
been awarded an MBE and then an OBE.
How many Paralympic medals has Sarah Storey won?
Dame Sarah Storey is the most decorated female Paralympian ever. She has
won 16 gold medals, five silvers, and three bronzes.
What is Sarah Storey's disability?
When Dame Sarah Storey was born, her left hand became entangled in her
umbilical cord. As a result, the hand did not develop normally.
Regardless of her disability, she has competed in and won able-bodied
national track cycling events - she is a six-time champion. She has won
the team pursuit championship three times, the individual pursuit twice,
and the points race once.
Dame Sarah also competed against non-disabled cyclists in the 2010
Commonwealth Games, racing for England. This made her England's first
disabled cyclist to compete in the Commonwealth Games. Storey's
disability isn't the only difficulty she's had to overcome. As a child,
she was seriously bullied by other children at school, and struggled
with an eating disorder. She also developed chronic fatigue syndrome
before turning 19.
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