Sarah Storey continues her tradition of collecting gold’s to equal legendary Tanni Grey-Thompson’s and Dave Robert’s Paralympic record of 11 gold’s in the modern Paralympic games.
In winning the C4-5 road race, it meant that the 34 year old won her fourth gold in London. Talking about her milestone she said, “I can’t believe I pulled it off, I am so proud to be British.”
Having already won the road time trial, the 500m time trial and the individual pursuit earlier in the week, Storey still had plenty to give as she finished the line a staggering 7 seconds ahead of her nearest rival Anna Harkowska, which has been an all too unfamiliar affair for the Pole.
Storey still remains 5 golds short, of the 16 held by Mike Kenny before the start of the modern Paralympics.
Storey might have drawn level with Dame Tanni and Dave Roberts, so declaring her the greatest British paralympian of all time would be disrespectful to the other two. While Tanni Grey Thompson was solely a wheelchair racer and Dave Roberts won all his gold’s in the swimming pool, Sarah Storey is definitely the greatest all round performer, winning her first gold as a 14 year old, and her latest one 20 years later on a bike.
Storey has proven her superiority in all four races she has won as cycling makes up a large proportion of her incredible achievements. An ear infection which put her Paralympic involvement in jeopardy, might well have been a blessing in disguise. It was the catalyst for a change of sports, and in doing so found her husband Barney Storey, who is also a cyclist who rides a pilot of blind racers. The sport of cycling dominates the couples life’s and is a key component for the success achieved.
Storey has proved to be an inspiration to many and drawn together a huge fan base as the week has gone on, adding more weight to the legacy that is to be left behind by London 2012. In a message to her fans on the social network site twitter, she said, “Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me to win four races here in London 2012. It has been amazing and the crowds just incredible.”
Throughout her career, she has been incredible. Her latest medal notched her tally to 22, and plenty of world records smashed in the process, and continue to post times that would be a threat to the abled bodied athletes.
The question is what is next for Storey? She will be 38 in Rio and if goes will have a chance to claim the outright honour of Paralympic gold’s. will she be recognised in the same way Tanni Grey Thompson did and find a Dame in front of her name. How about the barrage of supporters who think that she deserves recognition with the honour of being names Sports Personality of the year?