History-making Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey brings tears to eyes of proud coach

Dame Sarah Storey’s success brought her coach to tears as he watched her become Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian.

The former swimmer-turned-cycling star – whose first five golds came in the pool, beginning at Barcelona in 1992 – won the 17th gold medal of her career at Tokyo 2020 on Thursday.

Coach Gary Brickley said the C4-5 road race was a “tough watch” but a “beautiful watch”.

Britain’s most successful Paralympians
(PA Graphics)

He told BBC Breakfast: “We’re always confident in Sarah and what Sarah does is wins and wins races well.”

Mr Brickley added: “It was a beautiful watch, yeah, it brought tears to my eyes, even for me.”

The coach said he has been in contact with Dame Sarah via text message to tell her “what a legend she is” and how excited he is for her.

He said he has been working with her since 2004, adding: “But to go back 30 years and go to every single Games, and every world championships, and still keep knocking out the wins and loving it and loving the training, it’s incredible.

“You know it’s not far off Michael Phelps’ number of gold medals now so we have to keep pushing on.”

Great Britain’s Dame Sarah Storey celebrates winning the gold medal in the women’s C4-5 road race at the Fuji International Speedway during day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan
Dame Sarah Storey celebrates winning the gold medal (Tim Goode/PA)

Dame Sarah has now won all 13 bike events entered dating back to her Games debut on two wheels in Beijing in 2008.

The mother of two had matched Mike Kenny’s long-standing British record of 16 golds on Tuesday by winning the C5 time trial.

The 43-year-old was already more decorated than swimmer Kenny going into her third and final event of the Games owing to a greater haul of medals, which ahead of the race stood at 27 to his 18.