Proud Edinburgh honours Sir Chris

Olympian praises city that put him on road to success

by Tom Henry   July 1, 2009  

Chris Hoy © Photosport International

Sir Chris Hoy has been honoured by his native city for his cycling achievements.

The Olympic gold medallist was unanimously chosen by a judging panel to receive the 2009 Edinburgh Award and received his honour this week.

The 33-year-old, now resident in Greater Manchester, is only the third winner of the award, following in the footsteps of authors JK Rowling and Ian Rankin.

He will also have his handprints immortalised in Caithness stone in the City Chambers quadrangle.

Sir Chris said he was delighted and "deeply honoured" to be recognised by his home city.

"I was born and brought up in Edinburgh and the support I received in all areas of my life there - at school and university and with my cycling career - is an integral part of my success," he added.

"The City of Edinburgh Racing Club was the best amateur track cycling club in the UK, and joining it was the first step towards where I am today.

"I'm very proud to be from Edinburgh and I hope to move back there one day."

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Sir Chris was a BMX racer until he was 14 years old, becoming Scottish champion and ranking second in Britain and ninth in the world.

As a senior, he turned his attention to track sprint cycling and in 1992 he joined his first cycling club in Dunedin. Two years later he joined the City of Edinburgh Racing Club.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, George Grubb, described Sir Chris as an "outstanding ambassador" for Edinburgh.

"Following his incredible achievements in Beijing last summer, he now enjoys the kudos of being the greatest Olympian this city has ever produced," he said.

"He is an inspirational role model for our city's young people, proving that hard work, dedication and sheer determination can help turn natural talent into world-beating success.

"As the third-ever winner, following Ian Rankin and JK Rowling, he is joining a very prestigious club indeed."