Dame Sarah Storey Storey and Laura Kenny have been recognised for a year which has seen them become Britain’s most successful female Paralympian and Olympian, respectively, with nominations for The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award 2016.
Storey is also nominated for Paralympian of the Year alongside teammate Kadeena Cox, while Kenny is named on the shortlist for Olympian of the Year and also in the Team of the Year Award category alongside Joanna Rowsell Shand, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald.
Storey’s nominations come after a year which has seen her become ParalympicGB’s greatest ever female Paralympian, surpassing the record which she had previously shared with Tanni Grey–Thompson.
Storey’s dominant victory over teammate Crystal Lane in the three-kilometre individual pursuit on the track in Rio saw her break the record, and she went on to add further golds on the road in the time trial and road race.
Storey also won the pursuit at the 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Italy in March as well as picking up silver medals in the 500 metre time trial and scratch race.
Laura Kenny’s hat-trick of nominations come after a period which has seen her become Britain’s most successful female Olympian and underlined her status as one of the greatest track cyclists of all time. At the Olympic Games, she was part of the team pursuit quartet that won gold before dominating the women’s omnium to claim her second gold of the Games and the fourth of her career.
Kenny had also been the star of the show for the Great Britain Cycling Team at the UCI Track World Championships in London in March, winning the scratch race and the omnium, as well as picking up a bronze in the team pursuit.
Kadeena Cox will provide stiff competition for Storey in the Paralympian of the Year category after becoming the first competitor in 32 years to win medals in two different sports. Cox won the C4-5 500 metre time-trial in the velodrome, before adding a gold, silver and bronze in athletics. Cox also won the world title in the C4 500 metre time-trial at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
British Cycling chief executive, Ian Drake, paid tribute to the nominees.
“In a fantastic year for British sport it is brilliant to see the achievements of our cyclists being recognised at these prestigious awards.
“Laura, Sarah and Kadeena all made history in 2016, their performances at the Olympics, Paralympics and world championships cementing their places as British sporting greats. It’s also fitting to see the women’s team pursuit squad in the running for the Team of the Year award after a thrilling performance to take the gold medal.
“Cycling is a sport reliant on its volunteers and I’m really pleased to see the work of Kirsty Cameron being recognised. The hard work of people like Kirsty is a vital part of what makes our sport so great and it is great to see volunteers across all sports being highlighted.”
Iain Dyer, head coach of the Great Britain Cycling Team, added: “These nominations are very much deserved after what has been an exceptional year for our elite female riders. The performances of Laura and her team pursuit colleagues, Sarah and Kadeena in Rio were magnificent and will live long in the memory.
“As well as being world-class athletes, they take their responsibility as role models very seriously, and will have inspired countless women and girls with their success this year.”
Cycling also has a contender in the Community Award given to individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of women within their community through sport. Kirsty Cameron set up the Ladies Leisurely Cycles Group in September 2014 and the group now has over 250 members who cycle together regularly.
She also helps out at her local Riding for the Disabled club helping to lead rides for children with disabilities.
The winners will be announced on Thursday 8 December.