Who is Dame Sarah Storey? Britain's top female Paralympic athlete is part of the BBC Commonwealth Games team
Multi award winning athlete Dame Sarah Storey is one of the most successful Paralympic British sports personalities of all time.
The Manchunian sport star – who has competed in the pool, on the track, and in cycling – has never let her personal adversities stand in the way of her own success and she has an impressive haul of medals.
Here is what we know about the Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athlete.
How old is Sarah Storey and where is she from?
Sarah Joanne Bailey was born on 26 October 1977 in Manchester, England, and has a younger brother named Simon who is also an athlete.
Growing up in Cheshire wasn’t the easiest as she was hounded by bullies at school who targeted her for her success.
“They’d call me weird, and accuse me of being big-headed when I couldn’t have kept a lower profile. They even hated me for coming to school with wet hair after training. It was horrible,” she explained in 2012.
What is Sarah Storey’s disability?
Sarah was born with an under-developed left hand as her arm was tangled while in the womb and caused the defect.
However it is clear she has never let her disability stand in her way – and even fears some people don’t think she is disabled enough to compete in Paralympic games.
“I didn’t believe I had enough of a disability. When I first came into disabled cycling, it took the whole team of staff a while to convince me that it isn’t just about legs – upper body control is vital, too,” she explained in 2012.
When did Sarah Storey start competing in sport?
Sarah started competing from a young age and was training hard while a school girl – which led her to be taunted by classmates.
Not letting the bullies get her down, Sarah focused on her competitions and had 5 medals to her name by the time she turned 18.
She competed as a swimmer until 2005 – at which point she switched to cycling.
Why did Sarah Storey switch between swimming and cycling and why?
In the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games when Sarah was just 14 she won two gold medals, three silver, and one bronze.
And while her success continued in the pool, persistent ear infections caused her to change her sport of choice and swap the swimming costumes for the bike saddle.
She made the swap in 2005 and her continued success in sport has seen her crowned the most successful female Paralympic athlete in British sport history – and one of the most successful Paralympic athletes in the world.
How many medals has Sarah Storey won?
In the Paralympic Games, Sarah has scooped 11 gold (5 swimming, 6 cycling), 8 silver (swimming) and 3 bronze (swimming) across 6 of the Games.
She also holds more than 140 national titles, 73 world records, 24 World Championship titles, 21 European titles and 7 World Cup titles.
Never letting her disability hold her back, she also qualified for 2010 Commonwealth Games as part of the English team.
Is Sarah Storey married? Who is her husband?
Sarah is married to fellow British athlete, Richard “Barney” Storey – who has competed in tandem track cycling events, is partially sighted and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when aged four-years-old.
The couple tied the knot in 2007 and welcomed a daughter named Louisa Marie on 30 June 2013.
Sarah has credited her daughter with pushing her to her athletic best, saying in 2016: “I was in the best form I’d ever been [after giving birth] because I still had all of the physiological benefits from having a baby, such as the extra blood volume and higher haemoglobin.”
When did Sarah Storey become a Dame?
Sarah was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2013 New Year Honours list following her triumphant performance in the 2012 London Games.
She had previously been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2009 New Year Honours after the 2008 Beijing Games.
And prior to that she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1998 New Year Honours – while Sports Personality of the Year would only be one more trophy to her name.
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