Shelley Olds started riding in 2005 when a friend encouraged her to take out a racing license. She excelled at a variety of disciplines; cyclocross, road and the track. Olds began to focus on track racing and by 2008 was competing at UCI World Cups around the globe. Olds began to seriously pursue an Olympic track spot with the help of Nicola Cranmer, the founder of the Proman Cycling team - an early incarnation of the current UCI program Twenty16-Ridebiker Alliance.
Olds specialized in the points race, a tactical mass start event that requires speed, endurance and a gambler's winning instinct. She possessed the speed and innate sense of how to read a race.
“The Olympics has always been the backdrop for everything for me,” Olds said. “It's the ultimate thing for an athlete to do and especially in cycling as it is now.”