Crystal Lane-Wright after winning her first silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics (Instagram/@lane2985)
Out cyclist Crystal Lane-Wright is the latest queer athlete to win big at the Tokyo Paralympics, securing two silver medals for Team LGBT+.
The 35-year-old British Paralympic track and road cyclist won her first silver on the velodrome in the 3000 metre individual pursuit on 25 August, the opening day of the competition.
She went on to win a second silver medal on Tuesday (31 August) in the Women’s C5 Road Time Trial with the incredible time of 37:40.89 over 32 kilometres (19.88 miles).
On both occasions she was beaten by fellow Brit Dame Sarah Storey, a former swimmer turned cyclist who happens to be the most successful British Paralympian of all time.
“I don’t think I’ve reached my full potential. I think I can keep getting better,” Lane-Wright told the BBC after the 3000m event. “As much as I’m up against Sarah, it’s me against me. I can only control what I can do. To get such a good PB this morning, I’m so pleased.”
Lane-Wright actually became an elite cyclist in part due to Storey, who noticed her at a 2009 British Cycling talent search event and took her under her wing.
She has one more chance to beat her mentor in the upcoming Women’s C4-5 Road Race on 2 September, but no matter the result, she takes encouragement from knowing she’s competing against the best of all time.
“[Sarah’s] pushing the boundaries all the time in our category,” she told Leicester Live. “It just means that whenever I retire I can look back and I think I know I was the best I ever could be. If I was winning everything, maybe complacency would step in.
“Everything I do, I’m doing to my absolute best so whatever medal colour I win or wherever I come at least I know I’ve given 110 per cent and I can only be pleased with that.”
Crystal Lane-Wright now has four Paralympics medals in total, including the silver and bronze she took in Rio 2016.