Dame Sarah Storey has claimed her 12th gold medal to make her Britain's most successful female Paralympian of all time. The 38-year-old roared around the velodrome on Thursday to retain the women's C5 3,000 metres individual pursuit, at the same time overtaking Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's record gold medal haul of 11.
It was an incredible achievement for the mum-of-one, and after sealing her victory, she immediately cycled over to kiss her three-year-old daughter Louisa, who was cheering her on in the stands with Sarah's proud husband Barney, her parents and her in-laws.
Sarah Storey celebrates with daughter Louisa after claiming her 12th gold medal
Incredibly, Sarah began her Olympic career as a swimmer, and won two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze in Barcelona. She competed in the pool at three more Games, before a series of ear infections persuaded her to switch to cycling – and she excelled, picking up four gold medals at London 2012.
"Twelve gold medals has taken a lifetime to achieve," Sarah told ITV News shortly after her win. "To make other people happy and proud is huge. You know people are with you in spirit which makes it feel fantastic and I just can't thank everyone enough for being so generous with their support.
The 38-year-old is now Britain's most successful female Paralympian
"To come into cycling, a new career, and learn something completely different and then find out you're better at it than you were at swimming is slightly overwhelming to think about it.
"After London everyone thought I should retire on a high but I knew I could still go faster and today's proved that."
Husband Barney is Sarah's biggest supporter
Husband of nine years Barney said it has been an "amazing" experience to watch his wife win in Rio. "There's a huge level of expectation and pressure on Sarah to perform – and she did," he said, adding that it was all the more special to be at the Games with Louisa, who was born in 2013 and was attending her first paralypics event.
"She loved it, as soon as the national anthem started going she started singing Let It Go from Frozen, so she was having a whale of a time," he revealed.