Paralympics: Great Britain's most successful competitors

 

Great Britain are enjoying a golden home Paralympics and passed their 103-medal target with three days to spare.

Wheelchair racer David Weir's triple gold and Ellie Simmonds's double triumph in the pool have been among the highlights that have captured the public's imagination.

But even they have a way to go to match the titles of GB's most successful ever Paralympians, with cyclist Sarah Storey's 11th gold on Thursday equalling a record for the modern era.

Here we profile five British athletes who have won 10* gold medals or more during their careers.

Mike Kenny

Sport: Swimming Gold: 16 Silver: 2 Bronze: 0 Total: 18

Arguably the forgotten man of the Paralympics, Kenny has been puzzled by what he sees as as a lack of recognition for his achievements.

Mike Kenny

While it is a much bigger global event and the classifications have changed since he competed at four Games between 1976 and 1988, the 67-year-old tops Britain's roll of honour with 16 swimming gold medals.

Kenny, from Greater Manchester, started swimming as therapy in 1971 after he was paralysed following a fall from a ladder but went on to regain some strength in his upper body.

He competed without funding, and his wife Marcia acted as coach and trainer, clocking his times poolside.

Did you know? Kenny broke so many world records at his last Games in 1988, he says he lost count. He is thought to have bettered at least seven previous bests.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Sport: Athletics Gold: 11 Silver: 4 Bronze: 1 Total: 16

A trailblazer for Great Britain across five Games, Grey-Thompson won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds.

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Now a Baroness, she won four wheelchair titles at both the 1992 and 2000 events - in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

The athlete, who hails from Cardiff, was born with spina bifida and has been a wheelchair user since the age of seven.

She won the London Marathon six times between 1992 and 2002, with her last victory coming just nine weeks after giving birth to her daughter Cerys.

Did you know? Tanni was christened Carys Davina but her sister referred to her as "tiny", pronouncing it "Tanni" and the name stuck.

Dave Roberts

Sport: Swimming Gold: 11 Silver: 4 Bronze: 1 Total: 16

Roberts won 11 gold medals in the pool over three Games but missed out on his chance to pass the modern British record when he was not selected for London 2012.

Dave Roberts

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 11, he turned to swimming as an activity that helped keep his muscles supple.

A strict training regime, which involved 16 hours a week in the gym and four in the pool, helped the Welshman to a string of titles.

Roberts, 32, triumphed four times in the 2008 Beijing Games - in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle plus the 4x100m relay.

Did you know? In 2009, Roberts broke his elbow after he was dragged into a tree while taking his dog for a walk.

Sarah Storey

Sport: Cycling & swimming Gold medals: 11 Silver: 8 Bronze: 3 Total: 22

Started her Paralympic career as a swimmer, winning two golds at Barcelona in 1992 when she was 14. She has secured titles at every Games since.

Sarah Storey

After a chronic ear infection seven years ago kept her away from the pool she turned to cycling to keep fit and a new talent was unearthed.

Born without a functioning left hand, Storey had questioned whether she could even compete in the Paralympics. "What's one hand missing when you're on a bike?" she said.

The Cheshire-based rider, 34, has won six cycling golds to add to her five swimming titles and could be in contention for the Olympic cycling squad at Rio in 2016.

Did you know? Her two golds at the 2008 Paralympics included victory in the individual pursuit in a time that would have placed her in the top eight of that year's Olympics.

Lee Pearson

Sport: Equestrian Gold: 10 Silver: 1 Bronze: 1 Total: 12

Pearson suffered his first Paralympic defeat and just missed out on a modern record-equalling 11th title at London 2012 but still came away from the Games with a gold, silver and bronze.

Lee Pearson

A breeder of horses in Staffordshire, he performed one of his London routines to a selection of James Bond film tunes.

The 38-year-old was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which stopped his legs and arms from growing correctly.

A dressage specialist, he controls his horse using his hips and has to use crutches or a wheelchair to get around when out of the saddle.

Did you know? When Pearson was six, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher carried him up the staircase of 10 Downing Street to receive his 1980 Children of Courage Award.

* Records for Paralympic Games between the event's inception in 1948 and 1984 are not comprehensive.

While the event has its roots back to 1948, it was not known as the Paralympics until 1960 and visually impaired athletes first played a full part in 1976 when specialised racing wheelchairs were also used for the first time.

In 1968, 750 athletes took part. This had risen to 2,500 by 1980, with more than 4,200 competing in 2012.