It wasn't long ago that taxi driver Lauren Price was driving a Skoda Octavia around Caerphilly, "picking up the drunks, driving them to Cardiff, and picking them up" again. Now cars are stopping for her.

In June, the Commonwealth Games boxing gold medallist finally fulfilled her lifelong dream of qualifying for the Olympic Games after topping the podium at the European qualifiers in Paris.

It seems everyone wants to wish the Ystrad Mynach native well before she leaves for Tokyo, to the point that she can't step foot in the village without causing a bit of a scene.

"I went for a run the other day and I've had cars tooting to me, people are pulling down the windows like 'Oh, well done, congratulations,'" said 27-year-old Price, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo.

"Wales have just got a massive passion for sport, whether it's playing rugby, football, boxing, anything.

"They all get behind me. The support I've had has been amazing through social media, even I've had cards sent to my house, I've had people asking me to sign pictures and stuff like that.

"It's a very proud moment to wear the dragon as well on my vest. I'm just proud to be Welsh.

"Just putting on, whether it's the Welsh vest or the GB vest, the hairs on my arm stand up. It gives me goosebumps."

South Wales Argus:

The middleweight was the first Welsh woman to win Commonwealth Games boxing gold when she stood atop the podium in 2018, and in 2019 became the first Welsh amateur world boxing champion of any gender.

Price's Tokyo-bound plane will be filled with compatriots from her Welsh sporting past.

As a youngster she claimed four world kickboxing titles, training alongside now-taekwondo star Lauren Williams at Devils Martial Arts.

She also lived with Williams' teammate Jade Jones while spending six months on the sport's world class programme.

She's also received a few messages from Sophie Ingle, who will become the first Welsh woman to play Olympic football.

Price, a former centre-half, earned 52 international caps for Wales before making the switch to boxing.

Price drove taxis to support her athletic ambitions before she was offered a full-time place on Britain's world class boxing programme in 2016.

The owners of Bee Line Taxis were more than just Price's employers. Derek and Linda, Price's grandparents, raised the athlete from three days old.

Linda said: "Everybody knows in the village, they all say, "Oh, what's she up to? Is she home, is she away? What's going on in her life now?"

"I stop and have a chat and try and tell them, you know, because for the last two years with Covid and Derek's illness, because he had dementia, obviously I couldn't go very far."

Derek passed away in November, aged 80. Price, said Linda, meant everything to her doting grandfather, who spent thousands of pounds and travelled the world to watch her compete.

"Derek would be absolutely ecstatic," said Linda. "He would be ten feet tall, and he would be the proudest man in the valley.

"He adored Lauren. She gave him another lease on life. When the boys left home, we thought oh that's it, that's the end of him and his football.

"Then Lauren came in and it just went from there. She was the air that he breathed."

Lauren Price is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo, with the same amazing home support as London 2012. Visit @PurplebricksUK or