Sir Chris Hoy – One of Britain’s Sporting Heroes?
One of many people’s sporting heroes, Sir Chris Hoy has had a glittering career. Not content with winning eleven world championships and seven Olympic medals as a cyclist, he’s now taken up motorsports. Today, we’re celebrating some of his achievements.
From BMX Racing to the Velodrome – Chris Hoy’s Early Career
According to Sir Chris Hoy, it was watching Steven Spielberg’s movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, at the age of six, that inspired him to take up cycling.
“The BMX scenes were fantastic so I pestered my dad into taking me along to the local track at Danderhall where I saw all these kids having terrific fun. That was it, I was hooked,” he told the Telegraph, in 2008.
Chris, who was born in Edinburgh, on 23 March 1976, eventually became a Scottish BMX racing national champion and made it into the world’s top ten. He joined Dunedin Cycling Club in 1990 and first tried indoor track cycling at Edinburgh RC Cycling Club’s Meadowbank Velodrome.
“I quite liked it and put my name down to borrow a bike for the following season,” he told the BBC.
1999 – 2007: European, World and Olympic Medal-Winning Success
In 1999, Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Jason Queally won silver medals in the team sprint at the European Track Cycling Championships. They then finished second in the same category at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin.
In 2000, Chris competed in the Sydney Olympics and returned home with a silver medal, after he, Maclean and Queally finished behind France in the team sprint event. They also won silver at the World Championships that year.
In 2002, Hoy added Commonwealth gold and bronze medals to his collection, winning the kilometre time trial event and finishing third, with Craig MacLean and Ross Edgar, in the team pursuit. Two months later, he won his first World Championship titles, in the kilometre time trial and team sprint events, and in 2003, he was part of the bronze medal-winning team sprint trio at the World Championships.
The Scottish athlete claimed his next major title in May 2004, winning the kilometre time trial at the World Championships. Three months later, he took part in his second Olympic Games, in Athens, and claimed his first Olympic gold medal in the kilometre time trial, setting the fastest ever time at sea level into the bargain.
In 2005, he won a bronze in the kilometre time trial and a gold in the team sprint at the World Championships. He repeated both feats at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, before winning gold and silver medals at the World Championships for the kilometre and team sprint events respectively.
The following year, Chris won his first World Championship title in the keirin, as well as a gold in the kilometre time trial and a silver in the team sprint.
2008 – 2017: Record-Breaking Performances, Retirement and Motor Racing
Chris Hoy had a phenomenally successful year in 2008. Not only did he win a gold medal in the keirin and a silver in the team sprint at the World Championships, he also became the first British World Sprint Champion in 54 years.
He went on to win gold medals in the team sprint, keirin and men’s sprint in Beijing, the most successful haul for a British man at one Olympic Games for a century. He was also voted BBC Personality of the Year and was awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.
Although he was unable to compete in the 2009 World Championships due to injury, he won gold in the men’s keirin event and a bronze in the team sprint in 2010, and silver medals in men’s sprint, team sprint and keirin in 2011.
In 2012, he claimed another gold in the keirin and a bronze in the men’s sprint at the World Championships, but the highlight of his year was his performance at the London 2012 Olympics. Hoy seized gold medals in the team sprint and the keirin, and became the nation’s most successful Olympian ever.
The following year, Chris announced his retirement from cycling, but the Scottish athlete wasn’t done with sport just yet. Swapping two wheels for four, he joined the 2014 British GT Championship and, in 2015, he won the LMP3 class of the European Le Mans Series with teammate Charlie Robertson.
He went on to compete in the 2015 Race of Champions with Romain Grosjean and, in 2016, he and teammates Andrea Pizzitola and Michael Munemann finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans twelfth in their class and eighteenth overall
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