In a candid interview with the BBC she admitted, "It was the best thing that happened to me, to not win that Olympics… I have matured a lot more. I have experienced a lot more and I am ready now. I am ready to take on the challenge of being an Olympic champion."
Shanaze Reade in Beijing in 2008
The 23-year-old has dominated the aggressive, physical discipline of BMX which involves racing around a track that’s packed with huge jumps and tight corners. In her career she’s broken her shoulder, knees, foot, hands, ribs and her coccyx but she’s still riding and hungry for that medal. "This is the piece that is missing. I have won all these races but not the Olympics and that is what keeps the fire burning for me."
I love her passion and drive – she’s willing to risk everything to go for the ultimate prize. Watching her fly fearlessly over those jumps is nerve-wracking but exhilarating and like her roommate Victoria Pendleton, her efforts are sure to encourage girls up and down the country to get on their bikes and ride.
Shanaze is in the semi-final of the women's BMX race so we'll all be watching and hoping she gets through and achieves her dream of an Olympic medal.
Picture Credit: Rex Features