Laura Kenny retires from cycling as Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete with 5 golds

LONDON — Laura Kenny, Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete, announced her retirement from cycling on Monday because she wants to spend more time at home with her family.

The 31-year-old Kenny has won five Olympic gold medals and had been expected to compete at the Paris Games in July.

She gave birth to her second child last year and told the BBC on Monday that being at home was proving more and more alluring 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.”

Her husband, Jason Kenny, is also a cyclist and Britain’s most decorated Olympian.

“I knew the minute I was getting those feelings. Once I said to Jase, ‘I don’t think I want to ride a bike anymore,’ I started to feel relief,” she said.

Laura Kenny won gold in the team pursuit and the omnium at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and the madison at the 2020 Olympics. She also won a silver medal in the team pursuit in 2020 and is a seven-time world champion and 14-time European champion.

Kenny said the “absolute highlight” of her career was the London Games in 2012, during which her relationship with Jason Kenny became public.

“I never thought I would go to a home games, let alone go on to win two gold medals,” she said.

“When I look back, I’m like, ‘Wow, those two weeks did really change my life.’”

Britain’s team performance director, Stephen Park, described Laura Kenny as “one of the greatest sporting talents our country has ever produced.”

“She has been a beacon of inspiration for so many, young and old,” Park said, “and I’m sure that the entire British cycling community will join me in wishing her the very best in the next chapter of her life.”


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