A talented track cyclist, the 28-year-old steps off the bike following a successful career that saw her pick up bronze medals at the European Championships, UCI World Cup, and Commonwealth Games.
Kay represented the United Kingdom and England in international competitions before switching allegiances to Ireland in 2019, becoming a key member of the Ireland national team in the endurance disciplines of track cycling.
Kay thrived with Ireland, making an instant impact as she picked up an impressive bronze medal in the Omnium event at the UCI World Cup in Milton in January 2020.
Part of the Ireland Women’s Team Pursuit unit who have made strong progress in recent seasons, Kay won a bronze medal at the 2021 European Track Championships and later that year became an Olympian as she represented Ireland in the Madison event at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Kay has continued as part of the Women’s Team Pursuit unit, helping in their qualification drive for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Kay also secured an impressive win in the scratch race during the 2022 UCI Track Champions League.
Making the decision to retire, Kay reflected on some of the highlights of her career as she wished her teammates well ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics and opened up on her future plans.
Speaking about her cycling career, Emily Kay said, “Going to the Olympic Games and representing Ireland was the highlight of my career. It was always my dream to go to the Olympic Games and to achieve that and to go and represent Ireland was a really special moment for me and my family. Off the back of that, the other really big achievement for me was getting that bronze medal in the 2021 Track European Championships in the Team Pursuit.
“It was Ireland’s first major Team Pursuit medal and I’ve watched the team evolve and then to be a part of quite a big stepping stone on the team’s journey was a really proud moment. I’d like to wish the girls the very best in the coming months as they continue their qualification campaign for the Paris Olympics.
“I’d like to thank Cycling Ireland, Sport Ireland and The Olympic Federation of Ireland for their support in recent years as well as all my teammates, coaches, team staff, my friends, my family and everyone who’s supported me along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of those people behind me.
“I’ve been in this sport for 23 years now – professional for the past ten years – I love the sport. I still want to be involved and hopefully pass off some knowledge in some capacity, I want to do some coaching and share some of my own experiences. I’m really interested in performance lifestyle, so that’s something that I’m going to try and pursue now.”
National Track Coach, Dan Henchy, said, “I’d like to congratulate Emily on a long and successful career as a racing cyclist and thank her for being a great ambassador for Cycling Ireland. On a personal level, I’ve learnt a huge amount from working with Emily and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for her. While it may be the last we see of Emily in an Irish jersey as a rider, I know she’s keen to explore how she can share some of her vast experience with the next generation of riders so I’m sure it’s not the last we’ll see of her at a bike race.”