The 2016 Paralympics began with a bang in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 7th September. Just two days into the competitions, and a world record has already been established by a British athlete.
On the opening day of the competition, Dame Sarah Storey made history by becoming Britain’s most accomplished Paralympian by winning her 12th gold medal. After just 1,375 metres into the 3,000 metre individual pursuit final, Storey caught up to fellow Brit Crystal Lane, who was awarded a respectable silver medal.
First competing at the age of 14, Storey made her debut at the 1992 Games as a swimmer. In her nautical career, she racked up a number of successes, winning two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona. She would go on to compete in swimming at a trio of Games before a number of ear infections pushed her into the cycling game in 2005.
Before the opening day of the Rio Paralympics, Sarah had shared a record of 11 gold medals with former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and was expected to come out on top in the opening day’s final.
Speaking about her achievement to the BBC, Storey commented, “Tanni’s still a hero to me. It’s amazing and I don’t think it will sink in for a very long time. To go quicker than London after having my daughter Louisa is the icing on the cake.”
But the Paralympian from South Manchester shows no signs of getting comfortable after her win. Competing in the C4-5 road race, the C-5 time trial and the C4-5 500m time trial, Sarah aspires to recreate the quartet of gold medals which she was awarded at the Paralympic Games in London in 2012.
Dame Sarah Storey is also an honorary recipient of SportsAid’s support, a charity organisation who assist aspiring athletes in the start of their journey towards greatness.
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