BMX Gold Medalist Had to Crowdfund Her Olympics Bid | 22 Words

BMX gold medallist Beth Shriever was forced to crowdfund her Olympics bid after it was decided to only fund male riders.

Shriever managed to win a gold medal for Team GB in the BMX racing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this week, just 2 years after she had to raise £50,000 ($69,000) through crowdfunding to even get there.

The twenty-two-year old, who started practising the sport on a second hand bike and with borrowed kit, began crowdfunding to finance her path to Tokyo in 2019. The reason behind this is, as a female, she does not receive funding from UK Sport.

Following the 2016 Olympic Games, UK Sport made the decision that only male riders BMX could be funded for the Tokyo Olympics, the BBC reports.

Alongside her crowdfunding, she also worked as a teaching assistant in a nursery to raise money for her trip.

Speaking after her gold medal win yesterday, Shriever described the moment as "mad" and "emotional."

"It's a bit mad, I haven't even spoken to my family yet. I can't wait to speak to all them and see how they're feeling. I saw them at the end there getting all emotional and it's just amazing, I can't believe it," she said, as per the Daily Mail.

"I had nothing left at the end. I left it all on the track. Right now, it feels like I'm floating around."

Happy with her win, Shriever also explained that she had mentally prepared for the race as it was important that she "didn't let things get to me."

"I've kept the same mentality, the same process throughout on the track and it's just worked. I didn't let things get to me, I stayed calm. I knew what I had to do and just stuck to my process and it worked," she said.

"I've done a lot of work with my psychologist to be prepared for this because I did struggle a few years ago with my head. I've got a great thing going with him and without him I probably wouldn't be where I am today. When I was watching Kye get that silver I really had to hold that back because I was about to cry."

Following Shriever's win, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that he's sure the funding situation for Team GB's BMX racers will change.

Speaking with Sky News, he said: "I don't know the specifics of funding, but I do know that the way that the sports are funding is quite a kind of... they look for the winning sports and those are the ones they fund.

"I don't know what the background was to her funding but well done to her, what a phenomenal story and an amazing win for the country.I think she has broken the mould here hasn't she. She said herself she wanted to prove that women can do it as well and she has done that in amazing style."

Congratulations, Beth Shriever!