Reade inspired by GB gold rush
August 7, 2012 15:22 pm
Shanaze Reade is ready to embrace the expectation when the London 2012 Olympic Games BMX cycling competition begins on Wednesday.
After watching her British Cycling team-mates deliver under the weight of a nation on road and track and Britons claim medals across a range of sports, the 23-year-old from Crewe is ready to do the same in the rough and tumble world of BMX.
"I have got nothing to lose," she said. "I have kept my eye on everything that has been going on. Jess Ennis went in with the pressure on her to win. When you can overcome all the obstacles that are put in your way, that is inspiring. Everyone keeps coming out with something exceptional and I have just bought into it all."
Reade is a three-time world champion in the Olympic discipline, known as super-cross, where eight riders hurtle down a steep start ramp, vie for space on the track and negotiate jumps and turns in a bid to finish first, all in around 30 seconds.
Wednesday's opening action will see a time-trial to determine seedings ahead of the knockout rounds.
Reade had won two world titles before entering her first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, aged 19, and attempted a gold-medal-or-bust manoeuvre, which went wrong as France's Anne-Caroline Chausson won.
"After the last Olympic Games I had a love-hate kind of feel towards the Olympics," Reade added. "When I got back I assessed what went wrong, why it went wrong and what I needed to do to be a better athlete.
"We created Team Reade, a hub of people who I trusted and who could be honest with me. They told me some home truths and I vented as well. We got together and formed a plan to be better and move forward.
For the last four years Reade has been asked time and again about Beijing, with many admiring her for not settling for silver. If she is faced with the same split-second decision this time round, it appears little would change - although she would hope for a successful execution.
She added: "It comes with your personality. I train to be the best I can be. If the opportunity presents itself to go for gold, if I am in second or whatever position, I will go for that."
Copyright © Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.