University of East London honors Olympian Bethany Shriever

A Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games gold medalist received an honorary doctorate in sport from the University of East London (UEL).

Bethany Shriever became the first and only Briton to win Olympic BMX gold in July, before triumphing at the World Championships in the Netherlands in August.

In recognition of her accomplishments, Bethany was honored by the university on September 14, where she delivered inspiring words to students at a graduation ceremony for the School of Education and Communities of the UEL.

“What I have accomplished, I hope, proves to the world that you must continue to believe in your dreams,” she said.

“We all have good days and bad days. Whatever you want to accomplish after today, stick with it, work hard, and it can come.

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Bethany, 22, of Leytonstone, is UEL’s youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate in sport.

After the 2016 Olympics, UK Sport stopped providing financial assistance to female BMX competitors, but Bethany continued to train and compete on her own with the help of her family and crowdfunding.

She also discovered a passion for working with children from early childhood, taking on a part-time teaching assistant position.

Bethany told UEL graduates: “I know many of you here today will know what I mean when I say that teaching and helping kids learn and grow gives you an amazing buzz. .

“I was able to help them with their math, reading and writing, and of course I started a school cycling club to inspire the next generation of BMX riders. “

British Cycling launched a women’s BMX fundraising program ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Bethany was part of the GB team and won the gold medal in women’s BMX by nine hundredths of a second.

“Winning gold was a life-changing moment,” she said.

It produced one of the iconic images of the Games, with Bethany celebrating with men’s silver medalist and GB team mate Kye Whyte at the finish line.

She said: “It was so special to share this moment with him.

“We had grown up together and worked so hard for what we wanted to accomplish. “

Naomi C. Amerson