Laura Kenny: Britain's most successful female Olympian retires from cycling

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

Dame Laura Kenny, the most decorated female Olympian from Britain, has decided to step away from her cycling career. At the age of 31, she has an impressive collection of five Olympic gold medals and seven World Championship titles from her time on the track. After welcoming her second child in July, she had her sights set on competing in her fourth Olympics in Paris this year. However, in a heartfelt conversation with BBC Breakfast, Kenny revealed, “Deep down, I always knew I would recognize the right moment to step back.”

“I’ve enjoyed every moment, but the time has come for me to retire my bike,” she expressed. Kenny, who is married to Sir Jason Kenny, the most successful British Olympian, shared, “The thought of leaving my children and family behind was always daunting. It’s a significant decision, and the sacrifices are substantial.”

She continued, “The questions about which races I’d participate in or which training camps I’d attend began to weigh on me. I ultimately didn’t want to go, and that was a telling sign.” Kenny admitted that discussing her feelings with her husband, Jason, brought her a sense of relief, “The moment I voiced that I didn’t want to cycle anymore, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.”

Returning to cycling after the birth of her first son, Albie, in 2017, Kenny was determined to show that athletes could balance the demands of their sport with motherhood. Following a miscarriage in late 2021 and an ectopic pregnancy shortly after, the Kenny family welcomed their second son, Monty, in 2023.

Stephen Park, the performance director for British Cycling, had previously stated in March that Kenny’s chances of competing in Paris were slim. Kenny herself acknowledged, “I began to feel hesitant. The prospect of winning another gold medal, as appealing as it was, no longer energized me. It wasn’t about wanting another win; it was about wanting to be with my children.”

This decision marks the end of an era for Dame Laura Kenny, a cyclist whose achievements have inspired many and whose journey has been nothing short of remarkable.