How Team GB's Beth Shriever crowdfunded her way to historic BMX gold

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The road to gold hasn't been easy for Bethany Shriever, who crowdfunded her way to the Olympics. (Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The road to gold hasn't been easy for Bethany Shriever, who crowdfunded her way to the Olympics. (Picture: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It's every athlete's dream, and British BMX rider Beth Shriever made history at the same time as she claimed a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics

But it hasn't been an easy road to the Olympics for the 22-year-old, who had to started a crowdfunder in 2019 because she didn't receive funding with Team GB only supporting the sport's male competitors. 

Shriever and Kye Whyte made BMX history for Great Britain on Friday morning as they delivered gold and silver medals at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Watch: Bethany Shriever and Kye Whyte win historic medals on BMX track

Whyte won Britain’s first medal in the event since its introduction to the Olympics in 2008, taking silver behind Dutchman Niek Kimmann, followed by Shriever's gold medal in the women's race which she led from start to finish.

Shriever, who collapsed in tears after the win, was scooped up and held aloft by Whyte in celebration. 

Read more: British canoeing medal hope dissolves in tears after massive error in Olympic final

The journey to the Olympics has been a long one for both Londoners. 

Whyte, 21, grew up in south London, where his father was a co-founder of the Peckham BMX Club which sought to steer youngsters away from gang culture and crime.

Shriever celebrated her gold medal with Kye Whyte, who won a silver medal on the same day. (Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shriever celebrated her gold medal with Kye Whyte, who won a silver medal on the same day. (Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shriever, from Leytonstone, dropped out of British Cycling’s programme in 2017 after UK Sport announced there would be no funding for women’s BMX in this Olympic cycle.

Convinced of the potential in the 2017 Junior World Champion, her coaches persuaded the agency to let them reassign funds. 

It still wasn't plain sailing and Shriever, who has previously spoken about the difficulties of having to raise funds to get to the Olympics compared to her rivals around the world, worked as a teaching assistant and crowdfunded until she was brought back on to the programme in the summer of 2019.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 30: Bethany Shriever of Team Great Britain jumps during the Women's BMX semifinal heat 2, run 1 on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Shriever led her race from start to finish to take the gold medal. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Bethany Shriever even got a shout-out from former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher following her Olympic gold in Tokyo. (Getty)
Bethany Shriever even got a shout-out from former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher following her Olympic gold in Tokyo. (Getty)

At the time she was quoted as saying: ""My rivals who are all around the world are doing this full time and are funded, so I'm the only one who's not really getting much help.

"It is worrying and I don't want my dream to compete at Tokyo to be taken away just because of money."

“I’m just in bits,” the Londoner said. “I tried my hardest out there today and to be rewarded with a gold medal is honestly mind-blowing. I kept my cool today, kept it simple, and it worked. I’m over the moon.”

Shriever even got a shout-out from former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher after her victory, when he posted on Twitter: “BMX racing at the Olympics is blowing my mind” and “Bethany Shriever what a ledge well done LG x”

Watch: How much is an Olympic Gold medal worth?

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