We are showcasing each of the 16 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 18 December. Today – Laura Kenny and Jason Kenny.
Then known by her maiden name Trott, the Essex-born rider became the first British woman to win four Olympic gold medals by retaining her omnium title.
She also won team pursuit gold for a second time, and is one half of Britain’s ‘golden couple’, having married fellow cyclist Jason Kenny in September.
Laura Kenny’s 2016 title tally included the scratch race and omnium at the 2016 World Track Cycling Championships.
Born a month early with a collapsed lung, Kenny spent the first weeks of her life in intensive care.
As a child she suffered serious asthma, but was encouraged into sport and enjoyed trampolining, only to be forced to give up bouncing after repeatedly passing out in mid-air.
She started cycling recreationally aged eight when her mother took up bike riding in a bid to lose weight.
Kenny grew up in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, and got the cycling bug when she started winning races, eventually progressing to the junior world title in the omnium.
Despite a condition that causes her to vomit after some races, she has gone on to win seven world and 10 European track titles.
In Rio, she anchored the women’s team pursuit squad that broke the world record three times on the way to taking gold. She has ridden six races in the event over two Olympic Games and set a new world record on every occasion.
What she said: “I didn’t expect this at all. I am so happy that it all came together.”
Jean Sanders: “Laura Kenny would be my choice, more Olympic medals than any other British woman.”
Judith Laws: “Laura should win because she has done so much for women’s sport and she is a lovely lady.”
Gail Connolly: “Laura Kenny gets my vote. Was not fit to race weeks before the Olympics and won loads.”
Sports Personality record: First nomination. Between 2008 and 2012, cycling had three of the five annual award winners.
Cycling is booming – many people are getting on a bike for the first time and those who already cycle are cycling more and more. It is a revolution.
Visit the Get Inspired website to find out more on how to get into cycling.
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