Sarah Storey is a British swimmer, track and road cyclist, seven times gold medal winner at the Paralympic Games, and twice British national track champion.
Storey already has a remarkable 18 Paralympic medals in five Games to her credit. She made her Paralympic debut at Barcelona in 1992, winning two golds, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona in 1992 at just 14 years of age. A serious ear infection following the 2004 Paralympics forced her out of the pool for several months but she used this time to discover her amazing talent for cycling. By 2005 she had made the switch to cycling, taking double gold in Beijing in 2008. Storey won the individual pursuit in a time that would have been in the top eight at the Olympic final as well as the road time trial.
She also competes against able-bodied athletes and won the 3 km national track pursuit championship in the same year, eight days after taking the Paralympic title, and defended her title in 2009. She qualified to compete for England in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she became the first disabled cyclist to compete for England at the Commonwealth Games against fully able-bodied cyclists. She finished a creditable sixth and was only a few days behind archer, Danielle Brown, who became the first Paralympian to represent England in an able-bodied event at the games.
Storey could now join an elite group of athletes to compete in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games in London next year if she is selected for the team pursuit. As she is a sea-level world record holder in that event with Wendy Houvenaghel and Jo Rowsell and there is no team pursuit at the Paralympics it would mean competing at both Games.
Her success has not gone unnoticed and she was awarded the MBE in the 1998. Following the Beijing Games Storey was promoted to OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list. Storey is currently Britain’s most successful competing Paralympic athlete and is happy to look beyond her own success in her role as an ambassador for the sport. She knows that the London Games are a once in a lifetime opportunity to change public perceptions of disability sport in the UK. Storey is an ambassador for Deloitte, the official professional services provider to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and she believes the Games should have the same followers, the same excitement and the same public awareness as the Olympics. If she has her wish, she will be competing in both.