Laura Kenny, Britain’s Most Decorated Female Olympian, Announces Retirement

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Laura Kenny Announces RetirementJustin Setterfield - Getty Images

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Laura Kenny, Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete, announced on Monday that she will step away from cycling to spend more time at home with her family.

The 31-year-old has won five Olympic gold medals. She was expected to compete in Paris this summer, but will not be adding another Games to her schedule.

Kenny gave birth to her second child last year. She told the BBC that being at home was becoming more and more important to her.

“It’s been in my head a little while, the sacrifices of leaving the children and your family at home is really quite big and it really is a big decision to make,” Kenny said. “More and more, I was struggling to do that. More people asking me what races was I doing, what training camps was I going on—I didn’t want to go ultimately, and that’s what it came down to.”

Kenny won gold in both the team pursuit and the omnium at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. She also won the madison at the 2020 Olympics. In addition to all that gold, she also won silver in the team pursuit in 2020 and is a seven-time world champion and 14-time European champion.

She told the BBC that, in many ways, the decision was easy. “After lots of thought and consideration, I have decided I am going to retire from professional cycling,” Kenny said. “Big deal, yeah…but it’s been one ride that I would not change.

“I’ve just had an absolute blast, but now is the time for me to hang that bike up…I am so, so happy with my career and now I’m sat here knowing it’s the right decision. It almost feels like a relief, being able to say it out loud.”

Laura Kenny is married to Jason Kenny, who happens to be Britain’s most decorated male Olympian. No pressure on their kids or anything. Laura told the BBC that the London Games in 2012, when she made her relationship with Jason public, was “the absolute highlight” of her career. Winning two gold medals in front of a home crowd was incomparable.

According to the Guardian, “The Great Britain team performance director, Stephen Park, paid tribute to Kenny, saying: ‘Laura hangs up her wheels as not just one of the sport’s greatest riders, but as one of the greatest sporting talents our country has ever produced.’”

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