Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott on the podium at tokyo 2020 with the union jack

Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020: McGlynn and Scott reunite over a silver medal

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It’s another medal for Team GB’s cycling squad at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

Team GB have once again proved their cycling prowess in the velodrome at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with Aileen McGlynn and her guide Helen Scott taking silver in the women’s B 1000m time trial with a personal best of 1:06.743.

It’s yet another medal in paracycling for ParalympicsGB in just two days of the event, with Sarah Storey, Crystal Lane-Wright, Jaco van Gass, Finlay Graham and Stephen Bate also placing in the sport. It’s also the sixth medal for partially sighted McGlynn herself, who placed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games with Scott in tandem. 

But McGlynn wasn’t meant to end up on the podium – or even at the stadium. She’d left the Great Britain Cycling Team in 2013, and given up competitive cycling around a year ago, saying, “I was riding my bike last year, [but] I wasn’t training, I was just enjoying cycling.”

In the meantime, Scott had been partnered with Sophie Thornhill to great success. When Thornhill retired last year, there was only one person Scott wanted to pilot for, turning to McGlynn to see if she was still cycling. “I was asked to come and try out at a testing day. So, I got my finger out and got training again,” she said. 

Aileen McGlynn was piloted by Helen Scott at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
Aileen McGlynn was piloted by Helen Scott at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

It had been nine years since the pair were last at a Paralympic Games winning medals together, and they had just 12 weeks of training to get them Tokyo ready. And yet, they made it, smashed their record and were crowned the second best cyclists in the world.

“To be here at another Paralympic Games, to set a lifetime personal best time, to come away with another silver medal is just phenomenal,” said 48-year-old McGlynn.

“There were doubts, yeah. I thought it would be a tough call for anybody to get back and be ready in a year. But I thought if I don’t do it, I will always wonder. So, I gave it everything. Here I am.”

Scott also added that she felt as though they’d “won gold. We have been back together after nine years for 12 weeks, so to be on the podium is incredible.

“We did everything that we could have done and got beat by the faster bike on the day. We literally cannot ask for any more than that.”

McGlynn is another incredible athlete in the line up of women at Tokyo proving it’s never too late to start or return to the thing you love, from 43-year-old Storey taking gold to Simone Biles going back to beam after withdrawing from the competition. Plus, Scott and McGlynn’s partnership proves that just sometimes, going on a break really is worth it. 

Images: Getty

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Chloe Gray

Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).

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