A late entry to the Rio 2016 Paralympics following the exclusion of Russia, Crystal took full advantage of the opportunity presented to her winning a silver medal in the individual pursuit and bronze in the road race after a thrilling sprint finish.
Inspired by the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games Crystal applied for UK Sport’s and the British Paralympic Association’s Talent 2012: Paralympic Potential programme and joined the Great Britain Cycling Team in December 2010.
Her first international race was a success with Crystal picking up a bronze medal in the C5 road race, behind team mate Sarah Storey and Polish rider Anna Harkowska.
After not initially making the squad, Crystal was a late call up for London 2012 and in her first Paralympic Games finished fourth in the pursuit, and sixth and ninth in the road race and time trial respectively.
Focus on the track
Following London 2012, Crystal decided to focus her ambitions on achieving success on the track. This decision started to pay off with a victory in the team sprint at the 2013 Newport International which was enough to see her selected for the 2014 UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Mexico where she finished fourth in the 500 metre time trial.
However it was at the following year’s world championships where Crystal really started to make an impact winning a silver medal in the 500 metre time trial and a bronze medal in the scratch race. She would medal again at in the 500 metre time trial the following year before turning her attentions to the Paralympics in Rio.
Just as at London 2012, Crystal wasn’t initially selected for the team and was only confirmed once the International Parlalympic Committee expelled Russia from the event and ParalympicsGb were granted extra places.
Having been selected for the team, Crystal more than justified her selection, picking up medals on the track and the road. She won silver behind Dame Sarah Storey on the first day of the Games, in the individual pursuit, before adding a bronze in an exciting sprint finish in the road race.
If you have been inspired to get on a bike...
Selected Career Highlights to Date
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy)
Bronze, 500 metre time trial
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Silver, individual pursuit
Bronze, road race
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Apeldoorn (Holland)
Silver, 500-metre time trial
Bronze, scratch race
UCI Road Paracycling World Championships, Roskilde (Denmark)
Bronze, C5 road race