Britain’s most successful female Olympian retires

Olympic legend Laura Kenny retires

Laura Kenny with husband Jason, receiving royal honours. Credit: RoyalFamily/X

Five-time Olympic gold-medallist, Laura Kenny, has finally admitted that it is time ‘to hang up that bike.’

On Monday, March 18, Laura Kenny, the United Kingdom’s most accomplished female Olympian, announced her retirement from competitive cycling.

At 31 years old, with five Olympic gold medals under her belt, she decided not to go ahead with the Paris Games this summer. She shared her thoughts with the BBC, marking the end of an era.

A new chapter begins

‘I always knew deep down I would know when was the right time. I have had an absolute blast but now is the time for me to hang that bike up,’ Kenny said, now that prioritising family time has become her main focus.

This decision comes after a celebrated journey in the sport, alongside her husband, Jason Kenny (seven Olympic golds), who holds the title of Britain’s most decorated Olympian.

Legacy of triumph

Laura’s illustrious career includes victories in team pursuit and omnium gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, plus a madison gold in 2020.

With a haul that also features seven world championships and 14 European championships titles, her decision reflects a desire for new beginnings rather than a lack of achievements.

‘Going on to win another gold medal, as much as I would love to do that, it wasn’t giving me the energy I wanted anymore,’ she reflected on her decision.

Social media statement

Laura took the time to post a brief message on Instagram: ‘Thank you cycling for everything you’ve given me – including a husband and our growing family!

‘Having people say I have inspired women and girls to get active and get on a bike means the world to me. Thanks to Team GB, British Cycling and all the partners who have supported my journey.

‘A special thanks to every team mate I have had over the years and of course to my family for being the best support unit I could ever have wished for. It’s now time to move on but stay following for the next chapter,’ she concluded.

Other famous names from the world of sport paid their tributes, Mark Cavendish responded: ‘Absolute legend mate. Congratulations doesn’t even seem enough to say about what you’ve achieved.

‘The way you lead and grow a group of people has always been so so impressive. Thank you for everything you have done for British sport.’

Jessica Ennis-Hill replied: ‘Laura what an incredible career you have had! You are such a legend, always will be and you will continue inspiring! Enjoy this next chapter.’

While fellow cyclist Sarah Storey wrote: ‘Utterly brilliant from start to finish, so proud to have raced with you.’

Inspiring the next generation

Looking ahead, Kenny aspires to contribute to the cycling world in a new role, hoping to inspire upcoming athletes. Though she rules out coaching due to the pressure, she is eager to support young talent in other ways.

Laura Kenny’s departure from competitive cycling turns a new page not only in her life but also in the landscape of British sports.

Her legacy, built on determination, excellence, and a remarkable medal tally, will continue to inspire future generations.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.