Dame Sarah Storey DBE

Dame Sarah Storey DBE

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Paralympic Swimming & Cycling Heroine

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As a talented and dedicated young swimmer, Sarah entered her first Paralympics at the age of fourteen. In all she won twenty gold medals in the pool, including five Paralympic golds, and broke forty one world records in various championships – only to then switch to cycling. She’s since won another twelve Paralympic golds in her new sport and twice been crowned UK track champion against able-bodied competition, despite being born with a non-functioning left hand. Sarah demonstrates what it takes to push both body and mind to the limit.


Dame Sarah Storey was a world-class swimmer for twelve years. After winning sixteen Paralympic medals, five of which were gold, she moved to cycling where she won another nine golds, four of them at London 2012 where she became one of the heroines of the games. Sarah is now Britain’s most successful female Paralympian of all time with a total of seventeen gold, eight silver and three bronze medals across an impressive eight Paralympic Games.

Born without a functioning left hand, Sarah pursued her love of swimming to the point where, at just fourteen, she qualified for her first Paralympic Games in Barcelona. She took home two golds, three silvers and a bronze from Spain and competed at the next two Paralympics. She won twenty gold medals across various championships and broke forty-one world records along the way.

Leaving swimming behind, Sarah moved to cycling and proved even more successful. She took a double gold at the Beijing games. At the Commonwealth Games in India, she became the first disabled cyclist to compete in the able-bodied England team. She also won and defended her title as national three km track pursuit champion, again competing against able-bodied athletes.

At London 2012, Sarah was the toast of the velodrome and road racetrack as she took four more gold medals and became one of the faces of the games. Four years later in Rio she surpassed Tanni Grey-Thompson as Britain’s most successful female Paralympian.

Sarah is also Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner, a board member at the Department of Transport and devotes a huge amount of time to developing other athletes and supporting charitable causes.

In presentations Sarah explains that in her business the smallest margins can make the difference between winning and losing. She looks at some of the innovations that have helped her in training and performance. She shows what it takes to push both body and mind to the limit to succeed, even when the odds are against you. Away from the track, Sarah is also a member of the International Paralympic Committee Athletes' Council.

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