Tokyo 2020: Meet Laura Kenny – Cheshunt’s four-time Olympic gold medallist bidding for Tokyo glory

Laura Kenny CBE is Britain’s most successful female Olympian and an astounding Hertfordshire success story.

The cycling star was born one month prematurely in Essex on April 24, 1992. But she grew up in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, where she attended Turnford School.

She faced difficulties right from the off after suffering a collapsed lung at birth, but she has since gone on to achieve a feat no other British female Olympian has accomplished.

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Laura first got into cycling when her mother, Glenda, took up the sport to lose weight. The family would spend their weekends going for long rides.

Laura took part in her first race when she was just eight years old at the Welwyn Wheelers track, which still stands today.

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At 20, Laura won her first gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the team pursuit race. The three-person team broke the world record, beating the USA to the finish line. Two days later, Laura scored another gold medal for her nail-biting win in the omnium race.

Her success didn’t stop there. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Laura brought home two more golds for her performances in, once again, the team pursuit and omnium. This brought her gold medal tally to four.

At Tokyo, Laura will be tackling three events inside the velodrome – omnium, madison and the team pursuit.

But Laura isn’t the only talented sportsperson in her family. Her husband Jason Kenny is also an Olympic cyclist, with the pair often referred to as British cycling’s “Golden Couple”.

Laura Kenny during a kitting out session for the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Jason is the joint-holder of the British record for the highest number of career gold medals (six).

Like Laura, he took home two gold medals at London’s 2012 Games. He will also be competing in Tokyo in the team sprint, keirin and match sprint races.

Fellow Olympian Chris Hoy described Jason as “a man with no fear of failure”. Of Laura, Chris told The Guardian: “Laura wears her heart on her sleeve. Everyone knows what she’s thinking.”

Her determination and hardiness have been well reported.

During the 2012 Olympics, she single-handedly removed stitches from her chin after a spoke from a wheel in a race pierced her cheek.

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The Golden Couple married in 2016 and had a child, Albert Louie Kenny, in August 2017. Eager to get back on the track, Laura returned to elite cycling just six months after the birth of her son.

In 2020, Laura was forced to take another break when she broke her shoulder during a crash at the World Cup omnium in Milton, Canada. A competitor from Hong Kong fell in front of her, sending Laura flying over her handlebars. While the incident knocked her confidence, Laura intends to race in both the Tokyo and Paris 2024 Olympics.

Laura’s profile saw the former Grundy Park Leisure Centre in Cheshunt renamed The Laura Trott Leisure Centre in her honour in 2014.

Will Laura bring home more gold medals from Tokyo 2020? Sign up here and let us know in the comments below.

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