Olivia Jones-Baron: Scottish racing cyclist defies gender barriers

Media playback is not supported on this device Teen runs against men on race track

Teenage off-road racer Olivia Jones-Baron proved herself among the best women in the sport after tackling gender barriers in an interview with Good Morning Scotland.

The 17-year-old, from Aberdeenshire, burst on to the scene last year with a series of record-breaking performances.

At the Scottish Senior Endurance Championships in summer 2016, she broke a half century of the records previously held by male competitors.

According to statistics from the British Disabled Motorcycle Association, there are fewer women active in racing than men.

“If it wasn’t for motorcross and trike racing, I wouldn’t have discovered off-road riding,” Olivia, from Croom in Aberdeenshire, told Sunday’s edition of the programme.

“When I first started going down the track I realised that there were so many different things you could do, whereas if you were at any other type of cycling race, you would end up lying on the ground.”

Media playback is not supported on this device Teen racer determined to keep up off-road

“Whereas with off-road, it’s not about statistics, it’s about what you’ve got in your pockets,” she added.

The teenager, who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria aged 13, and has undergone two gender operations, said she knew she wanted to create a new path to motocross.

“I really wanted a change,” she said. “The closest I’ve come to being on a motocross bike is at the start line and I didn’t want to do that.

“So, I sat down with the team and we discussed what I wanted to try next and that’s why I left women’s category.”

Olivia kept training even while she was recovering from a broken femur, and is ranked number one in the Central and West British regions in her category.

Media playback is not supported on this device Road racing is tough, but anything is possible, says champion Olivia Jones-Baron

“For all the things that have happened to me, I’ve managed to achieve things and the sky’s the limit for me,” she told viewers.

“It’s only right I share my experiences because it’s incredible.”

Good Morning Scotland was broadcast on Sunday 19 August, 1900 BST.

Olivia Jones-Baron was talking to Vanessa Theobald, Claire Lafferty and Ewan Doyle.

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