The mother of women’s BMX star Beth Shriever has described her daughter as a “role model for girls” and admitted it is “really tough” not being in Tokyo to watch her compete.
Kate Shriever said her daughter’s career had begun “on a second hand bike, with a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads” and “snowballed” from there.
The 22-year-old British Olympian is due to take part in her semi-final heat just after 2am UK time on Friday.
“We’re extremely excited about the whole situation,” her mother told the PA news agency.
“It’s very stressful, obviously, watching it at two o’clock in the morning, and not being there is probably the worst part for us but we’re just so proud of her.
“It’s been her dream since she was about nine years old since she started BMX and she always really enjoyed it.
“Her brother was cycling as well with her so we did it as a family, basically.”
Ms Shriever said her daughter’s school had recommended she “give BMX a go” at a local club, where they had been loaned equipment.
“We went down on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening, borrowed a bike and Beth went round and just absolutely loved it,” she said.
“So we decided at that point we’d just buy a cheap bike and see how it goes, just doing club races.
“She started off on a second hand bike, with a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads, at Braintree and it just sort of snowballed from there.”
Ms Shriever said a “tight family” group of her husband, two sons and their partners, and her daughter’s boyfriend Brynley, would be watching live on Friday morning from their home in Finchingfield, Essex.
She added the experience would be “stressful” but the achievement would “mean the absolute world” to her daughter.
“Obviously BMX is a minority sport for women and she is the only woman in the UK, apart from Shanaze Reade, to get to this point and she’s a real role model for girls,” she said.
“She just wants to raise the profile for female BMX out there and I think this will do it.
“If she can make it through the semi-final to the final that would be amazing for women’s BMX in the UK.
“It’s hard for us, not being there. All through her life as a family we went through it all together.