Success starting to sink in for Storey
September 13, 2012 16:05 pm
Cycling phenomenon Sarah Storey is only just beginning to understand the magnitude of her Paralympic achievements.
Storey joined Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as Britain's most successful female Paralympian by winning four gold medals at London 2012. That took her overall gold tally to 11 and her total medal haul to 22 across two sports - swimming and cycling - stretching back to Barcelona in 1992.
The 34-year-old feels her feet have hardly touched the ground since but is now planning to take some time out to celebrate. Storey said: "The last few weeks have just been amazing, culminating in carrying the flag with David Weir on Sunday and the team parade on Monday."
She added: "Since then I've done a 104-mile bike ride for a British Paralympics fundraiser, but I'm back now to being able to celebrate, visit the gold post boxes and take in what has been an amazing time. It is just starting to sink in, the enormity what we have achieved as a team, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going moving forwards.
"There was a huge build-up, with so many training hours, so much concentration and so many processes to follow. You have to keep everything very specific and just focus. Now is the time to just enjoy the aftermath of the celebrations, reflect on these four gold medals and work out where to go next."
Storey won golds in her category in the 500 metres time-trial and 3km individual pursuit in the velodrome as well as the road race time-trial and the road race. Storey, who was born without the use of her left hand, intends to continue to compete in Rio, which would be her seventh Games, but is yet to decide which events to focus on.
She could even force herself into contention for team pursuit selection at the Olympics in 2016, particularly if the event is extended to four women and 4km, but has not set specific targets.
Storey, whose husband Barney is a three-time Paralympic champion as a tandem pilot, said: "Anyone who is good enough can go to the Olympics, absolutely. That is a possibility for anybody. There are lots of athletes within British cycling and other sports training to be the best athlete they can be.
"If along the way you get selected for the teams - the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships, that is the target. I wasn't good enough to be in the Olympics this year because there were three incredible girls who broke the world record on three consecutive occasions at the Olympics and three consecutive occasions before the Olympics.
"If I got selected for that it would be amazing but I have got to get selected for the Paralympics first. There are no guarantees, you have to qualify and get the training done. But I am still relatively young from a cyclist's perspective. For me at 34 there are still plenty of good years to come and there is plenty to explore from road cycling as well."
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