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British BMX star Beth Shriever won gold in the women's race at the Tokyo Olympics, a historic win made more exceptional because Shriever almost didn't make it to the Games.

U.K. Sport, the government agency responsible for funding in Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United Kingdom, decided after the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro that it would only financially support male riders.

Shriever said the funding cut was "such a shock and just so out of the blue." Former women BMX riders had done the country proud - winning just as many World Champions as the United States in the same 11-year time period, according to BBC Sport. BMX, or "bicycle motocross," was added to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Riders compete on a dirt race course made of various jumps and hills.

However, no British rider had ever won an Olympic BMX medal. So, funding was cut - but Shriever saw other options.

British Cycling, the main national governing body for cycle sports in Great Britain, created a financial support package for women riders.

Still, that wasn't enough. "It's finding money for the travel and races that's difficult and it's been a little bit stressful," Shriever told BBC Sport. She relied on her parents at times and even became a part-time teaching assistant for two- and three-year-olds.

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