Dame Sarah Storey: who is Desert Island Discs guest today - disability journey and music choices

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Dame Sarah is still training with the aim of competing in the 2024 Paralympics in Paris

The featured guest on this morning's Desert Island Discs (19 May) is Dame Sarah Storey, who has shared her inspiring journey as a Paralympian.

She’ll also be revealing her eight personal music choices, providing a glimpse into the soundtrack of her extraordinary life, as well as which book and luxury she would take with her to a desert island.

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A British athlete, Dame Sarah is known for her accomplishments in both para-cycling and swimming, and has become one of the most celebrated Paralympians.

Born in Manchester in 1977, without a functioning left hand due after her arm became entangled in the umbilical cord in the womb, she did not let her disability hinder her ambitions, and quickly entered into the world of sports.

A TV documentary inspired Sarah's childhood ambition to take part in the Paralympics, even though her swimming club coach told her that it was too late - at the age of 10 - to start training for an elite career.

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She started as a swimmer and quickly gained recognition: at the age of just 14, Dame Sarah made her Paralympic debut at the 1992 Barcelona Games, winning two gold medals, three silvers and a bronze.

Over the next three Paralympics, she continued to excel in swimming, accumulating five gold, eight silver, and three bronze medals.

In 2005, Dame Sarah shifted from swimming to cycling after persistent ear infections and chronic fatigue related to her swimming training, and a desire for new challenges.

Her transition to cycling was highly successful, and at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, she won two gold medals in her cycling debut, in the individual pursuit and the road time trial.

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This success continued in subsequent Paralympics, and at the London 2012 Games, Dame Sarah won four gold medals. She added three golds and a bronze to her name at the Rio 2016 Games, and another three golds at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

But Dame Sarah's achievements are not limited to the Paralympics, and she has also excelled in World Championships, both on the track and on the road, making her one of Britain's most successful cyclists, able-bodied or otherwise.

She is still training with the aim of competing in the 2024 Paralympics in Paris – which would be her ninth games, at the age of 46.

Beyond her athletic achievements, Dame Sarah is a vocal advocate for disability sports, promoting the inclusion and recognition of athletes with disabilities. Her efforts have earned her numerous honours, and she received her damehood in 2013 for services to para-cycling.

She is married to Barney Storey, a fellow cyclist and multiple Paralympic gold medallist as a tandem pilot.

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