Sarah Storey proud to become a Dame in the New Year Honours list
Last Updated: 29/12/12 12:16am
Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey admitted becoming a Dame in the New Year Honours list is beyond her wildest dreams.
The 35-year-old continued her dominance at London 2012 with gold medals in the four events she entered, taking her tally to 11 since her debut as a swimmer in Barcelona in 1992.
Storey, who was born with a partly formed left hand, excelled in the pool across four games under her maiden name Bailey, but she has cemented her place as a sporting great since switching to cycling because of a series of ear infections.
She won two titles in Beijing in 2008, competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and was still in contention for a place in the Olympic team pursuit squad in the run-up to London 2012.
But Storey proved peerless in taking Paraylmpic gold medals in the individual pursuit and 500 metres time-trial in the Velodrome and then the time-trial and road race at Brand's Hatch, with her career haul of 11 golds putting her level with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Dave Roberts as the most successful British Paralympians of the modern era.
Storey's husband Barney has an MBE for his exploits as a sighted pilot for blind or partially sighted athletes in tandem events, and she recently announced she was pregnant, but that will not stop her carrying on in competition, though, and she plans to race on until Rio 2016 at least.
"Wow, I am speechless but incredibly honoured and extremely proud to be able to accept the DBE," Storey said.
"I never expected any additional awards after my sporting success. I love competing for my country and that is a huge honour in itself.
"Now to be a Dame is beyond anything I could have ever imagined and I cannot thank my family, friends, coaches and support staff over all the years enough for their devotion in helping me to follow the path of becoming the best athlete I can possibly be."
The rest of the successful cycling team were also honoured with MBEs going to gold medal winners Mark Colbourne, Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean.