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Dr Gary Brickley training with Dame Sarah Storey

University coach celebrates record success with Paralympics legend Sarah Storey

The record-setting 17th Paralympic gold won this week by Dame Sarah Storey was an accolade too for her long-time University of Brighton coach Gary Brickley.

Dr Brickley has combined coaching Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian of all time with pioneering work in the School of Sport and Health Sciences looking at helping athletes perform to their best under extreme conditions such as heat or altitude.

Dame Sarah has benefited from Dr Brickley’s expertise since they teamed up in 2004, though the former swimmer-turned-cycling star won her first five gold medals in the pool at the 1992 Barcelona Games. She won the 17th gold medal of her career in the women’s C4-5 road race at the Tokyo Paralympics, putting put her one gold ahead of previous record holder Mike Kenny.

Dr BrickleySpeaking after the race, Dr Brickley said: “It was a beautiful watch – it brought tears to my eyes… She’s in brilliant form and is just continuing to improve…. To go back 30 years and still keep knocking out the wins and loving it, and loving the training, it’s incredible.”

Dr Brickley also added a further challenge for Dame Sarah: “You know it’s not far off Michael Phelps’ number of gold medals [23] now, so we have to keep pushing on.”

As well as Paralympic cycling, Dr Brickley has done important health sciences work involving cardiac patients, plus the benefits of intermittent sprint exercises. His insights will also play into preparations by athletes at upcoming events in extreme heat conditions such as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Watch Dr Brickley working with Dame Sarah Storey in training on YouTube.

Kerry Burnett • September 6, 2021

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