#SJA2023: Dame Sarah Storey still hunting golds as she looks to rewrite the history books

By Eddie McAteer

Dame Sarah Storey is looking to continue to push the boundaries of sport by adding to her 28-strong medal haul in Paris.

Storey spoke at the SJA British Sports Awards 2023, where she handed out The Peter Wilson Trophy for International Newcomer to cyclist Emma Finucane and cricketer Harry Brook, whose grandmother Pauline was on collection duty in his absence.

Dame Sarah Storey, Emma Finucane and Pauline Brook at the SJA British Sports Awards

Britain’s most successful Paralympian of all time already has 17 gold medals across eight Summer Games from both cycling and swimming.

However, at the age of 46, she is as motivated as ever to extend her record at the top of the British medal charts.

“It’s exciting to try and rewrite what we know in the textbooks,” said Storey.

“I’ve been an athlete forever and I want to still be able to keep pushing those boundaries and almost defy that ageing process.

“You hear a lot in the media about what happens in your 40s as a female. Those things are still there but I’m managing those alongside trying to still be the best in the world.

Storey is equally motivated by her son, Charlie, who did not get to go to Tokyo with her.

She explained he had not been in an Olympic environment, unlike his sister Louisa who had been in Rio to see her win gold.

Storey said: “I would not have carried on if I didn’t think my legs and my heart and lungs and head were capable, but when is enough enough?

“At the moment, there are still things to do.”

With Tokyo being held under heavy COVID-19 restrictions, the experience for spectators and participants alike was different to other Games.

Storey said the experience was both strange and unusual, but hopes Paris can be better and help less-seasoned athletes to see what the Games can really be.

“If you only ever do Tokyo then I do feel sorry for athletes, because it wasn’t the best of experiences,” she said.

“It’s that opportunity for everyone to come together, celebrate and hopefully anyone who went to Tokyo gets reselected.”

She is also toying with the idea of cycling to the City of Lights and sees it as an extension of her role in encouraging people to think about how they move around.

She explained: “We’re all thinking about how we travel, companies have got different travel policies on flying when you don’t need to.

“I think some of our shorter journeys we can certainly walk and cycle more than we perhaps have grown up with.

“It would be a really fun way to get to the games and fingers crossed it’s not just a pipe dream.”

The SJA is interested in your sports media industry news and views. Keen to reach an engaged audience, including over 70,000 followers across social media? We welcome your enquiries – contact us here. We also offer advertising and sponsorship opportunities.

For information on how to apply as a Full or Associate Member of the SJA, plus details of our free-to-enter SJA Academy, click here.