Dame Sarah Storey becomes Britain's most successful Paralympian after 17th gold win

Dame Sarah Storey claimed the incredible title at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics

Dame Sarah Storey claimed the incredible title at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics yesterday
(Image credit: CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Dame Sarah Storey has officially become Britain's most successful Paralympian after winning Gold for the 17th time. 

The Manchester-born athlete earned the honorable title in Tokyo on Thursday, overtaking previous record holder Mike Kenny after placing first in the exciting women's C4-5 road race title. Sarah's victory was closely followed by Britain's Crystal Lane-Wright, who crossed the finishing line just seven seconds later. 

"I'm a bit overwhelmed, I feel like it's happening to someone else," Sarah told Channel 4 after the event. 

"I can't really explain or compute anything about the race, but crossing the line first felt so good."

Moto Yoshimura/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Moto Yoshimura/Getty Images))

When did Sarah Storey become a Paralympian?

Dame Sarah Storey kicked off her incredible Paralympic journey as a swimmer at the Barcelona games of 1992. At just 14 years old, the watersports athlete clocked up a whopping six medals during the international competition, flying home with two golds, three silvers, and one bronze. She went on to win several more Paralympic medals for swimming over the next decade, before retiring from the sport in 2005 due to ongoing ear infections. Sarah decided to channel her incredible lung power into another aerobic activity, ditching the pool for the bike in what would become a life-changing career move. 

She made her Paralympic cycling debut in Beijing in 2008, winning two gold medals and scoring a time that would have placed her in the top eight of the Olympic finals. Since then, there's been no stopping the determined athlete. Sarah became a national hero in the 2012 Paralympics after winning Britain its first gold medal in the women's individual C5 pursuit, only to strike gold again at the 2016 games in Rio. 

Sean Garnsworthy/ALLSPORT

Sarah Storey at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games

(Image credit: Sean Garnsworthy/ALLSPORT/Getty)

What disability does Sarah Storey have? 

Sarah Storey was born with an underdeveloped left hand after it became entangled in the umbilical cord in the womb. Despite the impact of the impairment on her mobility, it took her some time to accept she was eligible to compete in the Paralympics. 

“I didn’t believe I had enough of a disability," she said in 2012. "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." 

British paralympic gold medalist Sarah Storey (R) is greeted by wellwishers after returning from the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, at Heathrow airport in London on September 20, 2016. - Rio said farewell to the 2016 Paralympics Sunday in a closing ceremony showcasing Brazil's passion for music and celebrating what many consider to have been a surprisingly successful Games. Eleven days of competition where China dominated the medals table, followed by Britain, ended earlier with the last few events, including marathons and wheelchair rugby. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) / CORRECTING DATE The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by JUSTIN TALLIS has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [September 20, 2016] instead of September 19, 2016]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Storey greeted in Heathrow Airport after returning from Rio Paralympics in 2016 

(Image credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

How old is Dame Sarah Storey? 

Born on 26 October 1977, Dame Sarah Storey is 43 years old. 

Who is Dame Sarah Storey's husband? 

Dame Sarah Storey is married to Richard Barnaby "Barney" Storey, a fellow pro cyclist and renowned coach. The couple wed in 2007, three years after they first met at an Olympics training camp, and now live together in Manchester with their two children. Like Sarah, Barney is no stranger to elite sports. A sighted pilot for visually-impaired athletes, he has won three gold medals for his partners during the course of his career. 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Sarah Storey and Barney Storey attend the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year at Resorts World on December 18, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty)

How many medals does Sarah Storey have? 

Sarah Storey has an incredible 28 Paralympic medals to her name, including 17 gold medals. 

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.