Sarah Storey: Paralympic champion says 'I'm a mum first, then an athlete'

Back on the bike for 'busy' Storey

Fourteen-time Paralympic champion Sarah Storey says her family are her priority as she prepares to make her return to international competition.

Britain's most successful female Paralympian gave birth to her second child, Charlie, in October.

Storey will compete at the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Italy, which run from Thursday to Sunday.

"I'm a mum first and then an athlete and if I can do other things, that's great," the 40-year-old told BBC Sport.

"It is amazing but I still love the training and the challenge of competition. It's all about finding the best version of you."

Storey, who also has five-year-old daughter Louisa, combines family life with training and developing the Storey Racing team she runs with husband Barney, alongside a motivational speaking and coaching business.

She is also an athlete representative for both cycling's governing body, the UCI, and the International Paralympic Committee.

Storey was due to compete in March's Para-cycling Track Worlds in Brazil before an outbreak of yellow fever in the country.

Both she, as a breastfeeding mother, and Charlie were unable to be vaccinated against the disease, so she pulled out to focus on the road season.

Storey's Paralympic Games record
GamesSportMedals
Barcelona (1992)Swimming2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze
Atlanta (1996)Swimming3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
Sydney (2000)Swimming2 silver
Athens (2004)Swimming2 silver, 1 bronze
Beijing (2008)Cycling2 gold
London (2012)Cycling4 gold
Rio (2016)Cycling3 gold

Storey starts her world campaign in Friday's C5 time trial in Maniago, before Sunday's road race, and already has an eye on an eighth Paralympic Games appearance in 2020, and challenging swimmer Mike Kenny's all-time British record of 16 Paralympic golds.

"There are two years to Tokyo so it is about looking at the long game and enjoying my racing," she said.

"I was still improving as an athlete before Rio. I did my fastest 3km individual pursuit and was putting more time into my competitors on the road than I had done.

"I'm not trying to compare it too much to coming back from Louisa because she arrived in the summer months, whereas Charlie arrived in the autumn so he is three months younger than Louisa was at this point of the road season.

"He was a bigger baby so I have had a little bit more of me to lose. I am coming back without too many expectations but looking forward to getting stuck in and hopefully getting back onto the podium."

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