'Even with one hand I was faster than the boys': Cyclist Sarah Storey hopes to add one more medal to her collection of SEVEN golds at the Paralympics
14:20 GMT, 27 August 2012
London 2012 is far from over and although the hype of the Games is only just starting to die down, the Paralympic Games are just around the corner with an array of talent and amazing success stories set to inspire generations for years to come.
And one athlete who is set to turn heads is seven time gold medalist Sarah Storey.
It is the 34-year-old's sixth Paralympic Games but as she takes centre stage on home turf, it is set to be her best yet.
Sarah Storey is set to be one of the most successful stories of the London 2012 Olympic Games and has already bagged seven gold medals
Manchester girl Sarah was born without a functioning left hand after her arm became entangled in the umbilical cord in the womb.
The star already has four major sponsors and this will be her sixth Paralympic Games
Speaking about her early experiences to the Sunday Mirror she said: 'Kids were never viscous at school and I'd never known any different.
'They'd think I couldn't hold onto my sweets quite as well and would try and nick them off me, but nothing malicious.'
Her interest in cycling was sparked at a young age and originally she excelled in swimming but after suffering a bad ear infection, she took to the bike to maintain her fitness; a new passion developed.
The more she peddled, the more she loved it and after success in races, she made the decision to become a permanent member of a competitive cycling team with the encouragement of her cycling sprint pilot husband Barney.
She said: ‘I officially switched to cycling at the end of 2005 and as Barney is such an expert, it helped me become better quickly because he could tell me straight away if I was doing something wrong. His advice and support were crucial.’
Sarah had a natural aptitude for cycling and she rose quickly through the world rankings, soon setting her first world record on a bike.
Joining the GB Para-Cycling Team in 2005, Sarah embarked on a highly successful career in the sport which has seen her win multiple world and two Paralympic titles.
Speaking about winning gold, she said: 'The first emotion you feel is relief. Then you feel absolutely pumped.
'It's just the icing on the cake from the four years of work. The winning feeling is immense, and that's why people keep coming back for more.'
During her successful career as a professional cyclist and swimmer, Sarah has also broken 70 world records and has this year been placed 5th in the women's non-disabled Road Nationals, ahead of Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke.
So what is it like to lose
'If you are defending champion, you come to a philosophical conclusion you were beaten by someone better.
Sarah was encouraged by husband Barney Storey to compete in cycling and it certainly paid off
'Learning to win and lose well is so important. You can't win and be an arrogant sod, you can't lose and be a sore loser,' she told The Mirror.
Sarah's success has not gone unnoticed and she was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year's Honours and was later promoted to an OBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours in recognition of her services to disability sport.
A Sports and Exercise Science graduate from Leeds University, Sarah enjoys travelling and spending time with her family and friends. She is also a season ticket-holder at Manchester United FC.