Dame Sarah Storey shared her Olympic medals with HELLO! Magazine for the very first time and also revealed to us where they are right now. "They are kept at a secret location," she said of her 14 gold medals - including the three she won in Rio (which make her Britain's most successful ever female Paralympic athlete) plus the three gold medals of her husband Barney (a sighted pilot for blind and partially sighted cyclists) which takes the family tally to 17. "We don’t have them on display at home." Sarah's adorable five-year-old daughter Louisa may like sparkly things but her medals don't faze her: "She loves all things gold and shiny but usually it’s tiaras and trinkets. I don’t think she has even seen the medals all together before."
Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey has been photographed for the first time with her record-breaking gold medal haul
Louisa travelled to Rio with her mum and dad Barney, whose three gold medals – won at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 as a sighted pilot for blind and partially sighted cyclists – bring the family total to 17. "Having Louisa there was the icing on the cake," she said of her little girl. Reflecting on their special bond, "The most memorable moments were when I went over to her after my two road event medal ceremonies and she jumped up and said, 'Well done Mummy.' Those were special moments."
Sarah began her career as a swimmer, winning five Paralympic golds and six world championship titles before a persistent ear infection in 2005 prevented her from training in the pool and led her to use a bike for conditioning work. By the end of the year she had broken the world record for the Para-cycling 3,000m individual pursuit – and made the decision to switch to cycling full time. The move paid off, with Sarah winning two cycling golds at Beijing in 2008 and four at London in 2012. In 2013 she was made a dame in the New Year's Honours list. With nothing left to prove, Sarah had no expectations when she returned to the sport following Louisa’s birth in June 2013. On her journey into motherhood, Sarah said: "Having a baby and coming back to sport was always going to be a bonus. I had achieved everything I could have ever dreamed of when I won four gold medals in front of a home crowd in 2012 and that was already a bonus because I had had a career in swimming. So everything was without pressure and no expectation. But I did, I came back stronger."
She added: "I don't think mums get nearly enough credit for the balancing act they do, especially now, when we're expected to do everything all the time. I remember reading an article about the Duchess of Cambridge in hello! where she spoke about how she manages to stay in shape chasing Prince George around and having eyes in the back of her head with Princess Charlotte. We are all athletes in different ways."