Dream comes true for BMX star from Tannum Sands
BMX: Tannum Sands' own Natalya Diehm has reached the pinnacle of her chosen sport.
The freestyle BMX rider has won the Vans BMX Pro Cup Overall Women's World Championship at Huntington Beach, California.
The only Australian in the event, Diehm was up against 18 other riders from around the globe.
She accumulated 334 points to edge out Spain's Teresa Azcoaga by four points.
US rider Perris Benegas was third on 290 points.
"They called all of the winning girls up to the stage to wait for the announcements," Diehm said.
"All of the girls who made podium that day got awarded and I was the last one standing, so that's when I realised the only trophy left was for the Women's Vans BMX Pro Cup champion.
Diehm's triumph is even more remarkable considering the serious injuries she has overcome.
"After the fourth knee surgery that was it for me - I was going to continue working my full-time job and give my BMX dream up," she said.
But Diehm received a timely call from a multiple BMX and mountain bike world champion.
"I got a call from Caroline Buchanan last November or December and she gave me the encouragement that I needed to overcome my injuries and to give it one last shot for the Olympics," Diehm said.
Her comeback began in earnest when she finished ninth at the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Montpellier, France.
"My only goal was to make finals and somehow I managed to achieve that and I honestly couldn't be happier," she posted on her Instagram account back in June.
Diehm said what she had just achieved in California was beyond her wildest dreams.
"This is my biggest highlight for sure. If you had of asked at the start of the year when I rode the first stop in Sydney that I would be crowned champion at the end, I would've laughed and said no way," she said.
"Hopefully this will open new doors for me in BMX and help with sponsorships."