Four-time Commonwealth Games medallist Aileen McGlynn has announced her retirement from cycling after 20 years competing at the top level.
The 49 year old has called time on a stellar career that saw her win seven Paralympic Games medals and a host of World titles, set numerous world records and be awarded an OBE for Services to Disability Sport, in addition to her Commonwealth Games success.
Winning gold and silver in her first Paralympic Games in Athens 2004, double gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games and silver and bronze at the 2012 Games in London, she completed her Paralympic tally with silver at Tokyo 2020 after some time away from the sport.
Double silver medallist at Glasgow 2014 with pilot Louise Haston, Aileen paired up with Louise once again for her second Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, finishing 3rd in both the Time Trial and the Sprint (although only gold medals were awarded).
Her final races came in Team Scotland colours at Birmingham 2022 last summer, where she took silver in the Sprint and bronze in the Time Trial with pilot Ellie Stone, a fitting end to a glittering career.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and at some point you’ve got to move on and do other things,” she said.
“I feel like I’ve achieved everything I wanted to in cycling – the opportunity to come back and do a really good time in Tokyo and win a silver medal, I could have finished my career at that point.
“A year out from Tokyo they announced that there was going to be tandem events in Birmingham, but when I got dropped from the British Cycling team again in December 2021, I was seriously considering not doing the Commonwealth Games. I really had to push to get use of a UKSI tandem, so that we were on an even keel with the other home nations, so that played a big part – I didn’t want to do it just to be there, to finish on a low after everything I’ve done.
“I’m pretty pleased and proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m particularly pleased that I’ve carried on to the age of 49 and broken down barriers in terms of age. Riding with Ellie [Stone], she was a really good pilot, so it all came together really well in Birmingham and it was a great way to finish. Birmingham was really special, with great teammates.”
Photo credit: Jeff Holmes