‘You just have to be gutsy’: how Laura Kenny created her golden era | William Fotheringham

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Britain’s most successful female Olympian rode through adversity and her refusal to compromise explains retirement

“The find of the century” is probably the best summary of Laura Kenny’s career, the view of a leading British coach before the 20-year-old’s Olympic debut at London in 2012. The precocity of Kenny’s talent was blindingly obvious back then. Less easy to read were the long-term passion and drive that have made her Britain’s most successful female Olympian, with six Olympic medals to her credit – five gold, one silver – in a 15-year career that spanned three Games. An old truism applies in this case: her retirement on Monday does mark the end of an era, a liberally gold-spangled one at that, with 23 other major titles to her name.

The arrival of Laura Kenny, née Trott, on the global stage coincided happily with the initial steps by the world governing body, the UCI, to bring women’s track cycling into parity with men’s, and with the inclusion in the track programme of the multidiscipline omnium, which she dominated in 2012 and 2016, all the while being a mainstay of the British women’s reign in the team pursuit. As the formats changed and times changed, she adapted with aplomb, winning the first women’s gold medal in the madison relay along with Katie Archibald at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

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Written by William Fotheringham
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2024/mar/18/you-just-have-to-be-gutsy-how-laura-kenny-created-her-golden-era under the title “‘You just have to be gutsy’: how Laura Kenny created her golden era | William Fotheringham”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.