Team GB record hopeful Storey missing her biggest motivation at Paralympics

Dame Sarah Storey has already won her first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, but the cycling legend has said she is missing her young family who motivate her

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Sarah Storey’s daughter says early start ‘totally worth it’ to see mum win gold

Dame Sarah Storey may have stormed to victory in Wednesday’s C5 3000 metres individual pursuit final, but she says she is missing her greatest motivation in Tokyo – her family.

The 43-year-old set a new world record in qualifying, taking an enormous four seconds off the previous time – which Storey also set.

In the final, she chased down Crystal Lane-Wright to ease to the gold medal, although she caught her compatriot in such a short distance that it meant the race reached the point where she could break the record again.

Lane-Wright picked up ParalympicGB’s first silver in losing to Storey – the exact same result in the event as happened at the Rio 2016 games.

Dame Sarah Storey said she misses her family after winning gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics


Storey now is just one gold away from equalling swimmer Mike Kenny’s record of 16 golds in Paralympic Games history. She still has two events to compete in in Tokyo, and is the reigning Olympic champion in both the C5 time trial and C4-5 road race.

What makes her success all the more remarkable is that Storey arrived at the Izu Velodrome having not ventured into competitive track racing since January 2020.

Speaking after receiving her gold medal on the podium in what must now be a strangely familiar feeling, Storey was evidently emotional over the sacrifices made by herself and her family in order to gain her incredible success amidst the pandemic.

The Greater Manchester native has an eight-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son with her husband Barney.

Storey said: “It’s hugely difficult. It is really, really hard.

“I FaceTimed them last night. You know they are the biggest motivation. It is harder now because you can’t see them and share it with them, and all of the things they put up with.

“They came into a bubble with me [before the games in England] to enable me to do this. Your own personal targets are nothing to shy away from. If you want to do things and can have the right support to do them, it’s possible.

Storey beat her ParalympicsGB team-mate Crystal Lane-Wright (L) in the final of the women’s C5 3000m individual pursuit


AFP via Getty Images)

“But equally you also want to be the best mum in the world and that is why not having them here makes it so hard.

“I am only an athlete for a few hours a day. You’re a mum 24/7. That is why leaving them and not having him here, not being able to pick them up when they have wobbles…they are picking me up probably more than I am them, which doesn’t feel like it is the right way round.

“I feel hugely grateful that they have given me this opportunity and it was their decision that I came without them. I gave them a choice.”

Meanwhile, Lane-White confessed that she was hoping for better luck in the road race, which is her preferred competition.

The 35-year-old said: “You know the road race is definitely my favoured event. I’m fortunate in that I get the chance to race three events here but the road race is my last event and the one I’ve been most looking forward to.

“It’s also the hardest because it’s longer and in that heat and humidity. That’s the race that I think I’ve got my best shot of a medal in. It’s also hilly and I think hilly suits me better.”

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