Dame Sarah Storey says she is the granny of Sports Personality of the Year contenders

1 / 4 of a century separates the two girls on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

‘I am the granny on the list,’ laughs 44-year-old Dame Sarah Storey, who has been nominated alongside Emma Raducanu, the 19-year-old favorite to win the award.

‘It’s amazing to think that I’m still competing and we are peers, even though we are from a different generation.’

Should Sunday’s public vote go the manner the bookies count on, US Open champion Raducanu would grow to be the youngest SPOTY winner since Michael Owen in 1998, in addition to the first feminine since Zara Phillips – now Tindall – in 2006.


The youngest in the present’s lengthy historical past is swimmer Ian Black, who was 17 when he scooped the prize in 1958, whereas the oldest was additionally 44, golfer Dai Rees in 1957.

‘It is an omen,’ smiles Storey. ‘The crazy thing about this number 44 is that Emma broke a dry spell of 44 years for a British woman to win a Grand Slam. The last time was 1977 and that was the year I was born.’

By the time Raducanu was born in 2002, Storey – then Sarah Bailey and a swimmer not a bicycle owner – had already appeared at three Paralympics and received 11 medals, together with 5 golds.

Dame Sarah Storey, 44, won a record 17th Paralympic medal of her career this summer by winning the women's C4-5 road race at the Tokyo games


Dame Sarah Storey, 44, received a report seventeenth Paralympic medal of her profession this summer season by profitable the girls’s C4-5 highway race at the Tokyo video games

Storey, who was born without a functioning left hand, won her first Paralympic gold medal at the Barcelona games in 1992 as a swimmer

Storey, who was born and not using a functioning left hand, received her first Paralympic gold medal at the Barcelona video games in 1992 as a swimmer

Storey embraces her elder standing, tweeting #doingitfortheover40s when the SPOTY shortlist was introduced on Monday. But she additionally desires to remind us she was as soon as a teenage sensation herself.


‘When Emma won in New York, she was the same age I was in Atlanta in 1996,’ recollects the mom of two, who truly received her first two gold medals 4 years earlier in Barcelona when she was solely 14.

‘I had also just done my A-levels and got my results on the poolside in Atlanta, then went on to win three gold medals the following week in those Games.

‘I got my first mobile phone after I won that fifth gold medal in ‘96 – one of those Nokia bricks – because I was going to university.

‘I remember watching Emma win and being like, “Wow”. Realising the age she was brought back all of those memories and it was lovely to be able to share them with my daughter Louisa and husband Barney, who I didn’t know at that time.’ 

Storey is one of the contenders for the SPOTY award along with Emma Raducanu (above)

Storey is one of the contenders for the SPOTY award together with Emma Raducanu (above)

Watching Raducanu triumph at a young age brought back happy memories for Storey

Watching Raducanu triumph at a younger age introduced again glad recollections for Storey 

Storey watched Raducanu’s US Open victory from a lodge in London, the place she was staying forward of the ParalympicsGB homecoming celebration at Wembley the following evening. 

It was 9 days after Storey had made her personal historical past at Tokyo 2020, profitable the C4-5 highway race to safe her third gold of the Games and a report seventeenth total, surpassing swimmer Mike Kenny as the most profitable British Paralympian of all time.

‘It’s taken a while to sink in,’ she admits. ‘The record was always a mathematical possibility for five years from Rio and I think it was perhaps a bigger thing for everybody outside than I realised.

‘It wasn’t till I obtained residence that it actually struck me. So many individuals instructed me they stayed as much as watch my race in the center of the evening as a result of that time of historical past was vital. I’ll all the time really feel very proud about that.’

Storey (centre) plans to compete at Paris 2024 and has not ruled out Los Angeles 2028 - when she will be in her fifties

Storey (centre) plans to compete at Paris 2024 and has not dominated out Los Angeles 2028 – when she will likely be in her fifties

Storey’ story, although, nonetheless has at the least one other chapter but to go. She has already confirmed plans to compete at Paris 2024 and has not dominated out using in her 50s at Los Angeles 2028.

‘I have no idea whether I’ve reached my peak but, however I’d wish to try to discover out,’ she provides. ‘Age is just a number if you enjoy what you’re doing and you make good decisions and stay fit and healthy.

‘I was asking my coach, “Is there something I’ve done?” and he said, “You listen to your body and you enjoy what you’re doing”.

‘A number of people have said to me they’re really inspired by the idea that you don’t have to worry about how old you are. It’s actually cool to have the overwhelming majority of the normal inhabitants saying, “Just go for it, girl”.’

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