Bethany Shriever: Who is the Olympic gold medalist who crowdfunded her way to Tokyo?

Team GB's Bethany Shriever

History was made during day seven of the Tokyo Olympics as Great Britain won their first ever medal in BMX.

Thanks to Kye Whyte's second-place finish, the nation celebrated a new milestone at the Games, shortly followed by Bethany Shriever's own personal piece of history.

The 22-year-old's road to her first Olympic Games has not been an easy one, but it's a remarkable story. Here's a look at why Shriever's gold is so much more than just a medal.

How did Bethany Shriever win gold?

Shriever was the only female Briton to represent Team GB in the BMX cycling event this summer. After comfortably winning her quarter-final heat, she finished above tipped favourite Laura Smulders to finish top once again.

Reigning champion Mariana Pajón of Colombia, who was another favourite to win gold, also struggled to keep up with Shriever's pace. The Team GB star crossed the line just 0.09 seconds ahead of the Rio 2016 winner, recording a finishing time of 44.358.

What is Bethany Shriever's Olympic story?

We've waited an extra year for the Tokyo Olympics and they have certainly delivered with the number of emotional moments and career-defining wins. 

Shriever is one woman who has a story many will remember even after the Games in Japan come to a close.

Despite being labelled Team GB BMX's next big star, she was unable to pursue her career any further without taking matters into her own hands. UK Sport called the decision to only provide funding to male riders due to results shown at senior level. This forced the up and coming star to drop out of the British Cycling programme. 

Let down by the sport she fell in love with at just nine years of age, Shriever had no option but to go solo and find her own way to the top.

In the absence of much-needed funding, Shriever worked as a teaching assistant and started a crowdfund to keep her Olympic dream alive. 

Kye Whyte and Bethany Shriever

Raising an astonishing £50,000, the BMX star showed the world exactly why female riders deserve the same treatment as men. Shriever is the only British competitor to win gold in BMX cycling. She saw off the best in the world and made history in Tokyo.

"Honestly, I'm in shock. To even be here is an achievement in itself," said Shriever. "To make a final is another achievement in itself. To win a medal, let alone a gold medal, I'm over the moon."

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