Sir Chris Hoy says battles with 'Auld Enemy' will add spice to Glasgow Commonwealth Games

He'll be a spectator this summer, but Hoy was part of Scottish trio that beat England to team sprint gold at Melbourne in 2006

by Simon_MacMichael   January 3, 2014  

Chris Hoy with gold medal at London 2012 (copyright Britishcycling.org.uk)

Sir Chris Hoy says the prospect of Scottish athletes taking on Great Britain team mates competing for the ‘Auld Enemy’ England will add extra spice to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Hoy, Great Britain’s most successful ever Olympian with six gold medals, has also triumphed twice at the Commonwealth Games, winning the Kilo at Manchester in 2002 and four years later in Melbourne in the team sprint.

The 37-year-old retired last year so will not compete in Glasgow this summer in the velodrome that is named after him, but he is an ambassador for the Games.

"The Commonwealth Games are unique for British athletes because it's the one chance to compete for your 'home nation'," said Hoy, quoted in the Daily Record.

"For me, particularly Manchester in 2002 and also Melbourne four years later, we trained as a GB team up until maybe only three or four weeks before the event then went our separate ways.

"It was funny because your team mates for three-and-a-half-years are all of a sudden your rivals.”

Hoy has first hand experience of that – the Scot partnered Ross Edgar and Craig MacLean in 2006 when they beat fastest qualifiers England, represented by Matthew Crampton, Jason Queally and Jamie Staff, to win gold.

"In particular, I remember the team sprint in Melbourne when it was Scotland and England in the final and to line up against your usual teammates knowing what was at stake: the pride, the bragging rights and, obviously, the medals,” he recalled.

“So to beat the English team was fantastic."

He added that he hoped some of the sporting world’s biggest stars would head to Scotland for the Games, which take place from Wednesday 23 July to Sunday 3 August.

"I think it's crucial to the success of the Games when the big names turn up and support them,” he said.

“And, apart from anything else, it's still an amazing feeling to win a Commonwealth Games medal for your home nation, and for athletes like Usain Bolt, Mark Cavendish, it's still a big deal for them to be Commonwealth champion.

“As far as I'm aware, Usain Bolt has not won a Commonwealth Games gold medal yet [Hoy is correct – ed].

“So for him, I'm sure he wants to be here and take the medals back to Jamaica."

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Is it right for a Knight of the realm to be stoking up cross border tensions - where does he stand on the Yes/No referendum...we should be told! Wink

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 13:41

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@ragtimecyclist - I'm glad of the winky at the end there as clearly there's nothing tense at all in his comments beyond the usual rivalry of competitors doing their utmost to win against ALL others

It *does* offer an interesting perspective tho' given how much they normally would train together as part of team GB

posted by mad_scot_rider [542 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 14:08

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Of course...purely tongue i cheek from me.

Good point though - racing against those who would normally be your team-mates should make for an interesting dynamic. There will certainly be a bit of spice with 'bragging rights' up for grabs as well as medals.

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posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 21:05

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“So to beat the English team was fantastic."

Not something I get to type much in a cycling context.

If, however, I were a cricket journalist.... Wink

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7982 posts]
4th January 2014 - 2:04

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
If, however, I were a cricket journalist.... Wink

You'd have to emigrate. Take lots of P20.

Between the S and the LOW

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posted by bikeboy76 [1220 posts]
4th January 2014 - 2:34

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